An aspirant for the Ado Constituency I seat in the just concluded general elections in Ekiti State House of Assembly, Talabi Ajayi, yesterday accused two lawyers named as Miss W. Egbema and Mr. M. Owolabi of dubiously representing him in a suit which saw his name struck out as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Ajayi stated this in an application which he filed before Justice Evoh Chukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja asking the court to set aside the March 26, 2015 judgment, which cancelled his nomination as the PDP’s candidate for the House of Assembly poll.
Ajayi alleged that the plaintiff, Arogundade Musa, who was substituted as the party’s candidate, was his agent during the party’s primary held on November 29, 2014, and as such did not participate in the exercise as an aspirant.
But the judgment ordered INEC to substitute Ajayi’s name with that of Musa, whom the court held that it found out was the winner of the primary.
Ajayi’s lawyer, Ameh Igbochi, contended in the application filed on April 24, 2015, that the plaintiff misled the court by fraudulently hiring the duo of Egbema and Owolabi, to act as the defence lawyers.
“The 3rd defendant (Ajayi) was fraudulently represented by the said W. Egbeama (Miss) and M. Owolabi of O.W Egbema & Co which legal practitioners the 3rd defendant/applicant verily believed had been engaged by the plaintiff to mislead this honourable court and overreach the 3rd defendant/applicant,” Igbochi argued.
Ajayi contended that the processes in the suit leading to the judgment were not served on him let alone briefing any lawyer to represent him in the case.
He said upon learning about the judgment on the day of collation of the results of the April 11 House of Assembly elections, “I immediately instructed my solicitors to apply for copies of all the processes filed in this suit and the same were given to my counsel on Friday, April 17, 2015.”
A supporting affidavit which he personally deposed to read in part, “That upon further perusal of the processes I found that a purported memorandum of appearance dated March 23, 2015 was deceitfully filed on my behalf by W. Egbeama and M. Owolabi of O.W Egbeama & Co., Plot 92, Obafemi Awolowo Road, Jabi, Abuja
“Also I did not and do not know the other duo of Winfred Ibama (Miss) and J.A Edo (Miss) who deceitfully appeared for me on 26/3/2015.
“As a fact, I did not and do not know these solicitors let alone engaging them to file any process on my behalf and/or represent and defend me in this suit wherein the originating processes were never served on me in all times material.”
Musa had through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN) filed the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/125/2015 on February 13, contending that he was the winner of the primary held on November 29, 2014.
In the suit which was filed more than two months after the primary, Musa joined the PDP, INEC and Ajayi as the defendants in the suit.
Parties in the suit are yet to respond to the application before the court.