The Ogun State chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) is seeking a refund of the legal fee it paid its lead counsel, Chijioke Emeka (SAN), because of his failure to appear in court during the hearing at the Court of Appeal in Ibadan.
South West Secretary of NNPP, Babatunde Oke, made the declaration to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Thursday.
Oke, who spoke on behalf of the party, expressed disappointment in Emeka’s conduct, saying this act is tantamount to the bastardization of the position of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
PeoplesActs News learnt that in order to prosecute their petition at the Appeal Court, Ibadan, NNPP and its gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 general elections in Ogun State, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, hired Emeka as lead counsel.
The party noted that Emeka was hired through their counsel, Isaac Dale Izunya.
Our reporter further learnt that Emeka was engaged to join the appeal legal team as a lead counsel in a petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Dapo Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the omission of the party’s name on the ballot paper used during the March 18 election in the state.
The party has now alleged that the lead counsel refused to appear at the hearing of the appeal on July 7.
The party said it was surprised that Emeka, after collecting fifty per cent of his professional legal fee, allegedly failed to show up at the Appeal Court.
The party is attributing the striking out of its case by the Appeal Court to his failure to appear for the hearing.
Oke, who addressed journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, insisted that no excuse was given by the lead counsel for his failure to attend the Court.
He said: “No reason was given before and after his failure to show at the Appeal Court; hence, we are calling on NBA and other related associations to sanction Emeka (SAN) for his fraudulent act. The party is demanding a refund of its two million naira (N2,000,000) out of two million and five hundred thousand naira (2,500,000) part payment of the five million (5,000,000) legal fee from the counsel.”
All efforts to get a reaction from the counsel since morning proved to be abortive.
Calls to his mobile phone were not answered, and messages sent to him to seek his reaction have not been replied to as of the time of filing this report on Thursday.