Anambra 2021: How Olanipekun, Ikpeazu, other SANs ruined the Oye/Soludo appeal

Reports from the Chief Victor Oye camp of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and Prof. Charles Soludo Campaign Organisation show there is palpable tension since it was revealed that the Notice of Appeal filed on their behalf by their legal team at the Court of Appeal, Kano Division, was incurably defective and thereby incompetent and deserving of being struck out by the court, as it resumes hearing on the appeal on Thursday.

The Notice of Appeal seen by our correspondent, signed personally by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), also had the names of Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), Patrick I. N. Ikwueto (SAN), Ken Mozia (SAN), Bode Olanipekun (SAN) and seven other lawyers listed as appellants’ counsel was filed on July 30, 2021, which is clearly outside the 14 days duration provided by the constitution for an appeal in a pre-election matter to be filed.

The judgment of Justice Musa Ubale of the Jigawa High Court being appealed against was delivered on June 30, 2021.

One of the lawyers listed on the notice, who also is a member of the Oye-led NWC of APGA, was seen shouting in Awka that by willingly withdrawing a validly filed Notice of Appeal filed on July 6, 2021, to rely on another one filed out of time on July 30 was like shooting themselves in the foot and that they have lost the case.

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The NWC member lamented how after heavily paying the senior lawyers and flying them by private jets to Kano for the appeal, they had jeopardized the appeal, saying “we cannot be paying six SANs and making such elementary and fatal mistakes.”

He later identified the sixth SAN as Yusuf Ali who led the team on July 30 when the court delivered its ruling on their motion seeking leave to appeal as an interested person.

“There was no reason for us to shoot ourselves in the leg. We have just lost a case we had clear chances of winning and this is a clear case of too many hands spoil the broth.

“We must find out who the saboteur is in our legal team. If not for deliberate sabotage how can we undo all the correct things we have done for the wrong things. I suspect one of the SANs may be working for our opponents, either the other faction or for another party. You know they may be having other cases for our opponents in the other faction or other political parties. We must investigate and find out immediately.


“We filed correctly and within time and we withdrew it for a notice that was filed out of time. We withdrew our prayer for deeming order; we withdrew our prayer to transmit further records. In fact, these senior advocates killed our case for us and I can tell you, there is no need for us to go to the Supreme Court,” he lamented.

It would be recalled last Friday, the special panel of the court while delivering its ruling in the motion filed by Chief Edozie Njoku seeking leave to appeal as an interested person, struck out the motion for having been filed out of time, as it was filed on July 22, more than seven days after the constitutionally required 14 days within which to file any appeal to a pre-election matter.

It is therefore expected that in similar matters, courts are bound to reach similar decisions. Having struck out Edozie Njoku’s motion, the Court of Appeal is also expected to strike out the Notice of Appeal filed on behalf of Chief Victor Oye.

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The implication of this is that the dreams of the Oye-led APGA and Governor Willie Obiano to ensure that Prof. Soludo emerges as the candidate of APGA are dimmed and clears the coast for Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, who has been listed by INEC as the candidate of the party.

The Soludo campaign team has been quite moody since the revelations came to the fore and the once boisterous office now looks like a shadow of its former self.

Typical of politicians, with this development, it is now expected that political realignments will begin and how Umeoji and his team handle this will determine how much of the realignment they will benefit from, though all the while his campaign had insisted that the governor is the leader of the party and he has only come to continue and expand the good works

What are your thoughts?

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