Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy senate president, and his wife Beatrice on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to deny David Ukpo’s request to set aside the court’s rulings from July 1 and July 6.
Through his attorney, Bamidele Igbinedion, Ukpo had submitted a move on notice asking Justice Inyang Ekwo to reverse the orders ordering several government entities and banks to give Ekweremadu and his wife access to his biodata.
Giving in to the couple’s request, according to Ukpo, who is currently in the United Kingdom in connection with the alleged organ harvesting charge against the Ekweremadus, would breach his fundamental private rights as stipulated by Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
However, the petitioners claimed in a counter affidavit that Ukpo was not entitled to the requested reliefs since such a thing was prohibited by law. Bright Ekweremadu, the younger brother of the former deputy Senate President, took the deposition.
Their attorney, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, dated and submitted the counter affidavit on September 8 with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022.
Ekweremadu said in a 20-point argument that even if the court issued its decision on July 1, Ukpo’s right to a fair hearing was not violated.
The documents, he claimed, had been sent to the UK and “tendered at the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, and at the Central Criminal Court in the UK, and had subsequently formed part of the record of the courts. The documents had been released by the agencies and banks in accordance with the court’s orders.
“That I know as a fact that the documents which are already in evidence before those Honourable courts in the United Kingdom cannot be retrieved by this Honourable Court.
“That the courts in the United Kingdom are already seised of the documents” and that he was in the last criminal proceeding where the documents were used.
Ukpo, who claimed to be 15 years old but was actually thought to be far over 21, needed the documents, according to him, to verify his actual age.
He asserted that the applicant (Ukpo) would not have been in danger if he had not falsified his age and that the document would listen to his concerns.
“That the orders of the Honourable Court made on July 1 and 6, 2022 are the final orders of the court,” he said.
Following a resumption of the hearing, Ojonugwa Oguche, the attorney for Ukpo, disclosed that he had received a counter affidavit from the Ekweremadus earlier in the day and would need to respond on legal matters.
In response to a request from Ukpo’s attorney, counsel for the respondents—including that of the Ekweremadus, Eyitayo Falogun, SAN—did not object, and Justice Ekwo continued the case until September 20 for a hearing.
The judge subsequently issued an order requiring all parties to file and exchange their processes prior to the next adjourned date.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ekweremadu, who currently represents the Enugu West Senatorial District, and his wife sued the National Identity Management Commission and four other parties on June 27 in response to the criminal allegation brought against them in the UK.
The Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc are the other parties named in the lawsuit as the second through fifth respondents, respectively. However, the fifth respondent was later removed from the case.
The judge approved their motion on July 1. They had asked for a court order instructing all respondents to give them certified true copies of the Ukpo’s biodata information that was in their possession so that they may present the records before the UK court.
In addition, Ekwo issued a directive on July 6 instructing the NIMC to provide the Ekweremadus with Ukpo’s information in accordance with the earlier court decision.
But Ukpo also requested for an order tossing out the July 6 order as well as the court proceedings, as she sought an order tossing out both.
In addition to these prayers, Ukpo asked for a perpetual injunction to prevent Ekweremadu, his wife, and all respondents from carrying out the ruling.