The Legal Team of Indigenous People of Biafra provided the following information/report about the case that came up in Federal High Court Owerri on 28 March 2013:
“Please I write to inform you of what happened in the Court on Thursday 28 March 2013. The Court sat as scheduled. The Venue was filled to capacity by members of the public and Biafrans. The Biafran Legal Team consisted of four lawyers as shown in the photographs attached herewith, namely, from left to right: Ohaeto Uwazie, Emeka Adolf (Lead Counsel), Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu, and Ibe G. Nwachukwunta. In accordance with our rule of practice, I told Barr. Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu being the most senior among us to introduce the Biafran Legal Team. He rose up and introduced himself and all of us. His presence gave some weight to the case. He then asked me to continue with the matter.
Just at the last minute before the matter was called up, a letter was delivered to me. The letter was written by Prof Yemi Akinseye George SAN & Partners, the Law Firm representing the Defendants, asking for an adjournment on the ground that their lawyer was sick. I was actually very angry with the Nigerian lawyers as I reasoned that the SAN should have sent another lawyer from his Chambers instead of using sickness as an excuse. I informed the Judge that the absence of the Nigerian lawyers and their request for an adjournment had resulted in wasted costs because the Biafran lead counsel came from London for this case. Had the Nigerian lawyers informed us in time, I would not have paid for flight from London to Nigeria. I told the Judge that if it were in the Courts of England & Wales, I would have applied for a Wasted Costs Order against the Law Firm of Prof Yemi Akinseye George SAN for this disappointment. I requested the Judge to allow the Biafrans to prove their case.
The Judge saw our point but advised that since the Nigerian lawyers said their absence was due to sickness, he would give them the benefit and regard it as an act of God. But if they continue to use sickness as an excuse next time, then he would allow the Biafrans to go ahead and prove their case. The Nigerian lawyers in their letter suggested three dates in April 2013 which were not convenient for me. The Judge gave me the privilege as a visiting counsel from the United Kingdom to choose a date most convenient for me. I reasoned that if I chose any date apart from the three dates suggested by Prof Yemi Akinseye George SAN, they might turn around and say that the date I had chosen was not convenient for them. Therefore, I told the Judge that I would accept one of the dates they suggested so that they would not have any excuse not to come to the Court next time. So, I chose the 30th day of April 2013 which the Nigerian lawyers had suggested for the hearing of their preliminary objection and our legal arguments. The matter was therefore adjourned to the 30th day of April 2013.”
What do you think about the non appearance of Nigeria in their own court?
God Bless Biafra!