10 UNFORTUNATE VICTIMS OF THE BRIGANDAGE OF THE UBA FAMILY IN ANAMBRA POLITICS, AND JUSTICE A. O. NWABUNIKE MAY BE NEXT
1. Justice Wilson Egbo-Egbo: He was a judge of an Abuja High Court. He was compulsorily retired from office in January 2004 for acts deemed by the NJC to have contravened his professional oath of office. Justice Egbo-Egbo had on Tuesday, July 22, 2003, granted an order ex parte order restraining former Gov Chris Ngige of Anambra State from acting or carrying his job as governor and ordered that his embattled Deputy, Dr. Okey Udeh should take over as Governor. Chris Uba, Okey Udeh, the embattled Deputy Governor, and the then Speaker were central figures in a failed abduction bid of the governor earlier in the month, had brought an ex parte application seeking those orders and Justice Egbo-Egbo granted all the orders as sought in the application.
2. Justice Stanley Nnaji: He was sacked for acts deemed by the NJC to have contravened his professional oath of office. Nnaji was said to have committed what amounted to judicial hara-kiri when in a case that was clearly outside his jurisdiction, he ordered that Chris Ngige, the then governor of Anambra State, should be removed from office in July 2003.
3. Justice Chuka Okoli: A former Chief Judge of Anambra State, he was sacked from the bench by the NJC for what the Council considered to be his inglorious act in the controversial impeachment of Peter Obi as Governor of the State. Before Governor Virginia Etiaba affected the decision of the council to appoint an acting Chief Judge, Okoli was said to have even tried to discountenance the directives of the NJC. The Federal Government approved his compulsory retirement from office in February 2007. Governor Obi was controversially impeached by a few renegades of the Anambra State House of Assembly led by Mike Balonwu who were loyal to Chris and Andy Uba.
4. Justice Adeniyi Ademola: He was a judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja who was recommended for compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council on 6th December 2017. The recommendation was the result of indictable findings made by the NJC as contained in the petition written to then CJN, Walter Onnoghen by a group of eight persons under the name of House of Reps Members-Elect from Anambra State, alleging among other things, that Justice Ademola delivered a judgment in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2015, five months after reserving the matter for judgment, contrary to the Constitutional provision of 90 days or three months. He was consequently retired by Federal Government on 9th Feb 2018. The dirty role played by the Judge was linked to the Ubas.
5. Former Gov Chinwoke Mbadinuju: He was politically destroyed by the Uba Family led by Chris Uba and made a victim of political godfatherism. He was financially sponsored by the Uba’s to win his election in April 1999 in return for signing away the State treasury including the infamous “Irrevocable Standing Payment Order” Agreement whereby a certain allocation of the commonwealth of Anambra people was ‘deducted at source’ every month from the State’s monthly federal allocations for ‘building of the Anambra State Government House’, a project still lying wasted, out of the model and turned into a house of lizards and mice till date. Mbadinuju ended up disastrously including being the first Nigerian civilian Governor to be rejected by his Party for second term ticket and the worst performed civilian Governor of Anambra State.
6. Barr B.E.I Nwofor (former SAN): He was stripped of his title of ‘Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)’ on 22nd June 2017 by the Legal Practitioner’s Privileges Committee at its 126th General Meeting following a complaint filed against him by the Court of Appeal. He was said to have involved and tainted his SAN-ship in matters involving the Ubas. Unfortunately, he is still their lawyer to date.
7. AIG Raphael Ige (deceased): Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Raphael Ige who led the police team that abducted Gov. Chris Ngige of Anambra State on 10th July 2003, was retired from service on 14th July 2003 by the Federal Government of Olusegun Obasanjo. He was sent on compulsory retirement following the approval of then-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was the AIG in charge of Zone 9 in Umuahia, Abia State.
8. CSP Evans Ebe: He was the MOPOL 29 Commander in Awka and led his men to participate in several dirty jobs assigned to him by the Ubas including the burning of Anambra State Government House, Lodge, State Judicial Headquarters, Anambra Broadcasting Service, and other public properties in the State in 2004 during the power tussle between Chris Uba and Gov Chris Nigige. He was later booted out of service by the Police Service Commission.
9. Hon Mike Balonwu: He was a strong ally of the Uba Family who was manipulated to oust Gov Chris Ngige as the then speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly. He organized a kangaroo impeachment of Peter Obi in Nov 2006. The controversial impeachment was later nullified by the Court and Gov Obi was restored to his seat. Since then, the political future of the former Speaker has been in jeopardy including his quest for higher political offices. He now reigns in political obscurity.
10. Hon Sir Humphrey Nsofor: He was the Majority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly and one of the allies of the Ubas who masterminded the controversial impeachment of former Gov Peter Obi in late 2006. He later failed to make it to higher political offices and could not be reelected into the State House of Assembly after the 2003-2007 section. One of Nsofor’s strongest collaborators in this failed conspiracy was Sir Mark Anthony Igboka who also failed to get re-elected to the State House and ended up being made the President General of his Nimo Community’s Town Union which led to his assassination in 2019.
Today, the notorious Uba brothers are at it again using the same tactics and manipulating the judiciary to undermine the course of justice. The Chief Judge of Anambra State Hon. Justice Onochie Anyachebelu and Justice A. O. Nwabunike are becoming dramatis personae in an evolving voyage of mischief within the judiciary in Anambra State. The trail of blackmail and destruction of the Uba brothers have shown that no one is spared the consequence of flouting our laws and doing mischief with the judiciary. It is hoped that they will spare themselves the infamous end that greeted others before them.
CJ Ubaka is an independent political analyst and social commentator based in Awka, Anambra state.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.