-allegation of sabotage rocks legal team
Palpable tension has engulfed the Chief Victor Oye camp of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) following the resumed hearing at the Appeal Court sitting in Kano on Thursday over the leadership crisis of the party.
Feelers from the Chief Victor Oye camp and Prof. Charles Soludo Campaign Organization showed that the tension is bored out of concerns that the notice of Appeal filed on their behalf by their legal team at the Court of Appeal Kano Division was incurably defective and will likely be thrown out by the Court.
Sources with the camp said some party chieftains are angry that the legal team comprising of six SAN’s could make such elementary and fatal mistakes.
A source said there are fears of sabotage within the legal team with some suspecting that one of the SAN’s may be working for the opponents.
The Notice of Appeal seen by our correspondent and 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 at the Registry of the Court of Appeal instead of the Registry of the High Court from where it should have been transmitted to the Court of Appeal.
Sources within the camp said one of the lawyers listed on the Notice who also is a member of the Oye led NWC of APGA complained that by not filing the Notice of Appeal at the High Court and having withdrawn their prayer before the Appeal Court to transmit further records and for a deeming order, it meant there was no Notice of Appeal properly so called.
He questioned why the junior counsel who must have been instructed to file the Notice of Appeal was not clearly instructed as to the Registry where to file it.
The NWC member lamented how after heavily paying the lawyers and flying them by private jets to Kano for the Appeal, they had jeopardized the Appeal.
Further, in his fury, he disclosed that the legal team for some inexplicable reason withdrew the Notice of Appeal filed within time on 6th July and correctly at the High court Registry for one which was filed out of time on 30th July and wrongly filed at the Court of Appeal. There was no reason for us to shoot ourselves in the leg. We have just lost a case we had clear chances of winning he lamented.
He said, “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 SAN’s may be working for our opponents. We filed correctly at the High Court and within time and we withdrew it for a Notice that was filed out of time and wrongly at the Court of Appeal.
We withdrew our prayer for deeming order, we withdrew our prayer to transmit further records, in fact we killed our case ourselves.”
It would be recalled that 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 the 22nd July, 2021 more than 7 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.
Hence having struck out Chief Edozie Njoku’s Motion, the Court of Appeal is also expected to strike out the Notice of Appeal filed on behalf of Oye.
The implication of this will mean that the dreams of the Oye led APGA and Governor Willie Obiano to ensure that Prof. Charles Soludo emerges as the candidate of APGA is dimmed and clears the coast for Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji who has been listed by INEC.