Honourable Justice Chukwudi C. Okaa of the Anambra State High Court sitting in Nnewi today adjourned till 27th September, 2018 the suit filed by Mazi Afam Osigwe challenging his disqualification to run for the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA).
Newswire’s correspondent spoke with the counsel to the NBA, Chief Dr. E. E. Egbunonu, who cleared the air on the outcome of the court’s proceedings earlier today.
Dr. Egbunonu appearing for the defendants informed the court that the plaintiff is yet to file replies to the preliminary objections filed by the 1st – 3rd defendants.
Egbunonu said, “they were in court on the 26th of July, 2018 when the matter was adjourned because they did not respond to the two objections filed by the NBA Team of lawyers. One of the objections is on setting aside the service of NBA, Mahmoud and the chairman of the electoral body.”
“The other one is on the competency of the originating motion. So they could not respond to any of them.”
“The matter was adjourned to Monday the 30th of July 2018, for the two objections to be taken together, hoping that they may have replied to them before today.”
“When the matter was called up by 11a.m, parties were absent, except for myself that was there as counsel to the NBA and others.”
The case was consequently adjourned to the 27th of September 2018 for hearing of the preliminary objections.
“I later got in touch with Emeka Etiaba (SAN), counsel to Mazi Afam Osigwe, who told me that they would file today to pick a date after vacation, to which I agreed.”
“But as at this afternoon when I was in the court premises they are yet to file objections. This was confirmed to me by the court’s registrar.”
“So, Mazi Afam Osigwe’s counsel was not in court but I was in constant contact with him on phone.”
“I can assure you that the election will go on as scheduled. The motion for interlocutory objection is already overtaken. So, the election must go on.”
Dr. Egbunonu said, “There is no order of court stopping NBA from holding the election. The right of one person amongst thousands of lawyers can not hold us to ransom. So it must go on.”
“As a matter of fact, during my discussion with Emeka Etiaba (SAN), he also told me that the motion for interlocutory injunction may no longer be necessary, that all the objections may have been taken probably by September.”
“I advise lawyers to do their verification so they can be eligible to vote. The patience and perseverance you have demonstrated while waiting for the Verification is worth the while,” Dr. Egbunonu concluded.