Baring any last minute disruptions to their plans, the Nigeria Police plans to arraign Edozie Njoku on a 12 count charge of forgery on Monday, November 21st.
This sham arraignment is based on a discredited claim by Victor Oye, the factional chairman of APGA that the May 9th correction of the Supreme Court judgement replacing his name with Edozie Njoku was forged.
The Supreme Court had on October 14th 2021 ruled in an appeal by Jude Okeke that the removal of a party chairman is not justiceable as it is an internal party matter. The apex Court also affirmed that the leadership of APGA emerged from the Owerri convention of May 31, 2019.
On May 6th, Edozie Njoku wrote a letter to the Supreme Court panel of five justices headed by Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili which adjudicated on the Jude Okeke appeal pointing out that the inclusion of Victor Oye’s name as the chairman that was removed by the Jigawa High Court was an error. Njoku’s letter stated that Oye was not at the Owerri convention and therefore could not have been removed by the Jigawa Court.
On May 9th, 2022, the Panel replaced Victor Oye’s name with Edozie Njoku as the chairman of APGA whose removal was deemed not justiceable. This correction was served on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Victor Oye called the corrected judgment a forgery. He petitioned the Police and other security agencies.
In connivance with the governor of Anambra state, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who had privately boasted that only an Anambra person can be national chairman of APGA, Victor Oye embarked on a scheme to compromise the Supreme Court, INEC and the Police.
They procured the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hajo Sarki Bello, the Director of Litigation, Mohammed A.Dikko and a police officer, Ezekiel Rimasonte who led the investigation.
Victor Oye and Prof. Soludo procured the services of two Senior Advocates of Nigeria to execute their plans. These two Senior Advocates (names withheld), one of Igbo extraction who became notorious as a lawyer to armed robbers in Onitsha, and had to run away from the city when the citizens rose against him and his clients. The other Senior Advocate, who is of Yoruba extraction, is famous for compromising judges and was recently enmeshed in unethical practice which could have cost him his license but was swept under the carpet because of his extensive influence and contacts within the Judiciary.
Using their extensive contacts in the Judiciary and backed by the enormous resources at the disposal of Prof. Soludo, these men embarked on doing ‘everything possible’ to thwart justice. CSP Ezekiel used his influence in the legal department of the Nigeria Police Force to haul Edozie and some members of his National Working Committee for interrogation. Even before Edozie Njoku arrived FCID area 10, Abuja for interrogation the Victor Oye group released information on social media that Njoku had been arrested for forgery by the police.
Bar. Olugbenga Owodolu, a Supreme Court registrar who certified all the Certified True Copies CTC of the judgment and the enrolled order was also interrogated by the police. He confirmed, in his written statement to the police that he certified the copies of the judgment on the instruction of the Chief Registrar.
The Chief Registrar Hajo Sarki Bello wrote a secret letter to the Police informing the police that the CTC’s in Edozie Njoku’s possession were not genuine and that no correction was made to the judgment of October 14th, 2021.
The Chief Registrar also wrote to INEC and hand-delivered the letter to the INEC chairman stating the same thing she told the Police.
The Director of Litigation, Mohammed A. Dikko, certified the old judgment of October 14th, 2021 in August of 2022 and gave it to the police.
Dr Festus Akande, the Director of Information of the Supreme Court, on September 1, 2022, made a press release which followed the line of the Chief Registrar’s letter.
Curiously, the investigators did speak with Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, who was the chairman of the panel until her retirement in May. They also did not speak with Justice Kekere-Okun, who took over the panel’s chairmanship and signed an enrolled order in July.
On October 13th, 2022, Edozie Njoku petitioned the Inspector General of Police, alleging unprofessional conduct by CSP Ezekiel Rimasonte and requesting that a new investigator be brought in to investigate the matter.
Immediately the IGP reassigned CSP Ezekiel Rimasonte and handed the investigation to the Head of the Police Chambers, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, DCP Simon Lough. Eight days after Ezekiel Rimasonte was reassigned he secretly filed charges against Edozie Njoku at the FCT High Court.
On November 7th, 2022, in an unprecedented move, Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili replied to Edozie Njoku’s letter asking her to clear the air as to whether the corrected judgment was authentic. Justice Odili stated in her letter to Edozie Njoku that their judgment was authentic and the mistake of having Victor Oye’s name as chairman was part of a ‘trajectory of errors’ which needed to be corrected. The Justice’s letter also stated that Dr. Festus Akande’s press release was as a result of a ‘misconception of the true position.’
A few days after, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Victor Oye and their senior advocates stormed Abuja and the Supreme Court. Soludo on being informed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria had travelled overseas hurriedly took off to Europe.
Victor Oye arranged a press conference where he again called the letter by Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili a forgery. He announced to journalists at his press conference and a live television audience that Edozie Njoku had been sued by the Police and would soon be arraigned.
Edozie Njoku and his lawyers were not made aware of this development. Hence Njoku was stunned when Victor Oye announced at a press conference that the Police had filed a 12 count charge against Edozie Njoku. Oye brandished the charge sheets during his press conference.
Meanwhile, after the judgment of the Supreme Court was corrected in May, INEC was served by a bailiff of the Supreme Court. Edozie Njoku followed up with a letter, the fifth one, to the National Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood informing him of the development at the Supreme Court. INEC and the chairman neither acknowledged in writing nor replied Njoku’s letter.
On July 15th an enrolled order signed by Justice Kekere-Okun was served on INEC by a Supreme Court executive bailiff. The bailiff also swore an affidavit to that effect.
Our investigations reveals that Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Victor Oye and their lawyers know that there was no forgery. The police also know that there is no forgery of the Supreme Court judgement. The letter by the Supreme Court Registrar, Hajo Sarki Bello, was part of a plot to sustain Victor Oye and Prof Chukwuma Soludo in office.
The letter by the Chief Registrar was designed to give the INEC chairman a justification to continue to refuse recognition of Edozie Njoku as APGA chairman thereby leaving Victor Oye in place, contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court.
The question many lawyers and even ordinary citizens have asked is: If the leadership of APGA emerged from the Owerri convention and Victor Oye was not there, how did he gain INEC recognition? Why have Prof. Yakubu Mahmood and INEC refused to acknowledge the Supreme Court’s correction of its judgment even when they have been party to the suits?
The Police are planning to arraign Edozie Njoku at FCT High Court, Bwari, on Monday, 21st November. Part of the plot is for Edozie Njoku to be denied bail and the suit adjourned till January, 2022. By then it will be too late for Edozie Njoku to sponsor candidates for the 2023 general elections. Oye, by then, will be 2 months to the end of the four-year stollen tenure of Edozie Njoku.
Sources at the Nigeria Police Force informed our reporters that the report by the Head of Police Chambers, DCP Simon Lough, who took over investigations from CSP Ezekiel Rimasonte, found no merit in the allegations by Victor Oye against Edozie Njoku.
How come a man who was removed from an investigation filed a suit on behalf of the Inspector General of Police 8 days after he was reassigned? Why is Victor Oye the one to inform the Police that a Supreme Court judgement was forged? How did Victor Oye know about the charges against Edozie Njoku before the defendant? Who gave Victor Oye the charge documents?
How can the Supreme Court Chief Registrar, Director of Litigation and the Director of Information set aside the judgment of the Supreme Court through mere letters and a press statement?