Breaking: Edeoga, ADP lawyer in war of words as court dismisses suit seeking to halt Mbah’s inauguration

By Emma Udeze

Little drama ensued today at the Enugu State Election Petition Tribunal between Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party governorship candidate in the just concluded general elections in Enugu, and the lawyer representing Mr. Nnamdi Omeje, governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Asadu Mathias, following the dismissal of an application filed by the latter seeking to stop the Governor-elect, Peter Mbah from being sworn in as the governor of Enugu State on May 29, 2023.

Our correspondent gathered that the Labour Party governorship candidate had secretly sponsored the application in the name of the ADP with an understanding that he would pay all the expenses, including the professional fee incurred by the party. He, however, stated that he would be refunded 50% of the money if the court failed to grant the application.

Trouble started when Edeoga, immediately after the application was dismissed by the tribunal as lacking merit and frivolous, accosted the lawyer to ask for a refund of N3 million out of the N6 million spent so far, but the lawyer retorted angrily that such a thing was not obtainable in the legal profession.

Matthias had argued that Edeoga’s request for a refund was against the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners and insisted that he would not compromise on the job he had done even as he warned the disgruntled LP candidate to perish the thought or he would expose him to public ridicules.

The ADP lawyer had through their motion urged the tribunal to make an interlocutory injunction restraining the Governor-elect, Peter Ndubuisi Mbah from presenting himself for the purpose of being sworn in or inaugurated as the Executive Governor of Enugu State.

But in a ruling on Tuesday, the tribunal dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

As the court premises were filled with distracting noises, the security men were ordered by the judges to evacuate the duo out of the court premises while the court continued with other matters before it.

“It was a little drama seeing the candidate of the Labour Party, Chijioke Edeoga making a swift movement to accost the ADP lawyer, one Mr. Asadu Mathias immediately after the application stopping the PDP Governor-elect, Mbah’s inauguration was struck out. The lawyer was accosted near the whistling pine tree at the front of the court, only for us to be hearing exchange of words between the duo as Chijioke Edeoga’s supporters who came to witness the case were seen shouting “refund Okaome, refund him, it is the agreement”. The noises continued unabated until some men of the Nigeria Police Force came and drove all of them outside the court premises,” our correspondent said.

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