Ex- Army Officer threatens to imprison Judiciary staff Over Alleged Conspiracy

Chief Godwin Ononiwu Anyalemechi
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Ex- Army Officer threatens to imprison Judiciary staf Over alleged Conspiracy

…Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors intend to appeal

-Judiciary staff

By Ifeanyi Emeka

Efforts of Chief Godwin Ononiwu Anyalemechi, a retitired Brigadier General and Pioneer Director General of Nigeria Army Legal Studies to obtain justice for his clients was allegedly obstructed by Judiciary staff at the High Court, Mbaitolu/ Ikeduru division sitting at Nworieubi last Thursday.
When the matter was called up by the clerk of the court in suit No.HMI/31/2022, Anyalemechi announced appearance for the Applicants/Judgement/ Creditors, while one Barrister F. U Ekeh announced appearance for the Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors.

Addressing the court, the Counsel to the Applicant/Judgement/ Creditor, Chief Anyalemechi informed that the matter was for the court to look into the “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to To Order of Court” which was aimed at committal to prison Eight (8)out of the Seventeen(17) Respondents/Judgement/ Debtors for their refusal to obey the orders of the court in the suit.

However, a mild drama ensued in the court when the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice I.O. Aguguo told the Applicants’ Counsel that the said notice to that effect was not in the file , even as she was quoted as saying “there is no proof of service in the file to show that the Respondents were served.

It was informed that the Honourable Judge directed the clerk of the Court, one Mr. Festus to call up another matter in a bid to continue the business of the day. Before then, she had advised the Applicants’ Counsel to seek clarifications over his claims with the registry of the court to ascertain why the processes were not in the file.

An eye witness, informed our reporter that the registrar of the court, Dr. C.C. Anyanwu, allegedly blamed her workers for the negligence, stating, they should have enquired from her before now to ascertain the position of the file.

Anyanwu, who is a Deputy Director, Court Services later informed the Counsel to the Applicants/ Judgement/ Creditors that there was a notice on appeal that led to the non filing of the form 48 ( Order 1X , Rule 13) which is a “Notice of Consequences
Of Disobedience To Order Of Court”.

The Applicants/ Judgement/ Creditors in the matter were, Remigius Azotama, Uchechi Azotama and Uzoamaka Sunday ihemebi. Others were; Adolphus Ahamefula and Victor Anyalemechi, while the Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors were; Chinedu Iwuchukwu , Chigozie Ojoh, Chibunna Iwuanyanwu, Sunday Ugorji, Ogechi Iwuanyanwu, Chigozie ibe,(Apriwa), Okechukwu Dominic and Felix Mbamara.
Others were; Chidi Amadi, Chief Maurice Ozuzu, Mr. Victor Anyanwu, Mr. Fred Ugorji, Mr. Cyril Ojor, Mr. Romanus Chinagorom,Mr. Anthony Unachukwu, Hon. Andrew Sibigam and Mr. Raymond Acholonu, all of Ngugo Obaire Community in Ikeduru Local Government government Area.

However, those being prayed by the Applicants/ Judgement/ Creditors to be committed to prison were (8) out of the 17 Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors. They were; Chief Maurice Ozuzu, Mr. Victor Anyanwu, Mr. Fred Ugorji and Mr. Cyril Ojor. Others others were Mr. Romanus Chinagorom, Mr. Anthony Unachukwu, Hon. Andrew Sibigam and Raymond Acholonu.

Some Lawyers who were at the court premises, stressed, “Notice of appeal” is not an appeal itself, even while they pointed out that, such should not have stopped the “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience To Order Of Court” not to go on”, even while they alleged that the Judiciary staff must have been compromised.

Earlier in the judgement of the court delivered in the substantive suit by His Lordship, Hon. Justice I.O Aguguo last Thursday, the 30th day of March 2023 at the High Court of Imo State of Nigeria, Mbaitolu/ Ikeduru Judiciary Division holding at Nworieubi,the Applicants were granted all the leaves sought for “In the matter of an Application for the Enforcement of Fundamental Right of the Applicants”.

In the “Judgement Order”, it was stated,
“Whereas the Applicants on 22/3/2022 filed this Application pursuant to Order 2, Rule I of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement ( Procedure Rules) 2009 against the Respondents claiming as follows: “An order restraining the 1st to the 17th Respondents further acts of threats to the lives of the Applicants and the lives of every member of their families.

Another order was the “restraining of all the Respondents from further acts of threats and Conspiracy to forcefully enter the ancestral lands of the Applicants for the purpose of illegally harvesting their palm nuts for any unlawful purpose, the order further directed the 17 Respondents in the suit to comply in the resolution of Umuezelahie Kindred on palm closure order, dated 12th March 2022, which was enclosed as “Exhibit A”. Furthermore, the court ordered “A Perpetual injunction restraining “the palms closure in the entire umuezeala village of Ngugo Obaire in compliance with the directives of the President- General of Ngugo autonomous community, Chief Paschal Nlem.

The Applicants were further awarded the sum of ” Fifty Million Naira (N50,000,000) being general damages for causing apprehension to the Applicants and their families in pursuance of threats to kill and Conspiracy to steal palm nuts, should the Applicants resist them”
In proof of their case when hearing commenced; G.O Anyalemechi, ESQ Counsel to the Applicants adopted his brief of argument and urged the Honourable Court to grant their reliefs and Eddy O. Onyema, ESQ for the Respondents adopted his brief of argument and urged the Honourable Court to dismiss the suit, but the court in her wisdom ordered
“that all the reliefs of the Applicants be and are hereby granted”.

When contacted on the issue, Chief Godwin O. Anyalemechi, ESQ, Counsel to the Applicants/ Judgement/ Creditors, bemoaned the absence of the “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience To Order Of Court”, he filed with the registry of the court in the case file, which stalled the continuation of the matter for the committal to prison of Eight (8) out of the 17 Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors.

“I am really perplexed and I wonder how it happened. I have been attending this court and I am disciplined as I do my things procedurally.

“I filed forms 48 and 49 against the judgement debtors for failling to obey the order of the court which was given on the 30th day of March 2023.
“After everything, I presented a written address attached with 17 paragraph affidavit attaching the court order over the refusal if the 17 Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors to obey the order of court, which I filed on the 6th day of July 2023.

“To my bewilderment and utmost disappointment last Thursday when the matter was called up, the Hon.Judge informed us that the said processes were not filed.
“Immediately, I left the court on the advise of the Court to the registrar’s and was told by the registrar that the Counsel to the Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors had indicated interest to file a notice of appeal.

“There and then, other lawyers who were present objected to her claimes saying “Notice of Appeal that have not been duely filed at the Apeal court is not an appeal”.

Anyalemechi accused the Judiciary officer, Dr. C.C Anyanwu, for conniving with the Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors to forestall his case.
“There was a Conspiracy to frustrate my matter, which I believe is aimed at allowing the Respondents/ Judgement/ Debtors to buy time. I will definitely write a petition against those involved in this mess to avoid further occurrence, Anyalemechi furned, just as he described the situation as “an intentional negligence that ought to send the Judiciary staff to prison”, pointing out, “the act is to frustrate the due process of the law”.

Efforts made to speak with the registrar court were futile as she was not on sit when our reporter visited her office , even as her phone number could not be gotten as at the time of filing this report.

By Famous Reporters

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