Lawyers of Igbo extraction have filed an application at the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking to join as defendants in a suit instituted by a group of northern elders praying for the exit of the southeast region out of Nigeria.
The northern group had approached the court praying to order the exit of the South-East region based on the agitations of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Specifically, the northern elders had in June this year instituted the suit, wherein they want the court to compel the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to expedite for the exit of the South-eastern region out of Nigeria before concluding the ongoing amendment to the country’s Constitution.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/538/2021, was filed on behalf of the northern group by Nastura Ashir Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam.
By the joinder application, the Igbo legal practitioners led by Chief Chuks Muoma SAN, Ukpai Ukairo, Ebere Uzoatu and Hon Obi Emuka are asking for an order of the court to join in the suit as representatives of the people of the southeastern region.
The joinder application was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 5 and order 26 rule 2 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019.
The Igbo lawyers claimed that they have an interest to protect in the suit, hence, their request was to be made a set of defendants in the case.
In the application filed by Victor Onweremadu and obtained by our correspondent on Monday, the applicants claimed that the case of the northern elders seeking the exit of the south-east from Nigeria has the capability to shape the life of the generation of Igbo people.
In their 12-paragraph affidavit in support of the application, the lawyers stated that the Northern Elders in their suit did not think it necessary to join the people of the south-east or their representatives to enable the court to hear from them.
The affidavit deposed to by one Ekenna Jonathan read in part “That this suit is so crucial and a sensitive matter which concerns the Indigenous Igbo speaking tribe in Nigeria and has the capability to shape the life of the future generation of the people of the south-east of Nigeria and other Indigenous Igbo speaking tribes in Nigeria.
“That the Igbo Lawyers Association represented by the applicants are an Indigenous association of lawyers from the south-east of Nigeria and other Indigenous Igbo speaking tribes in Nigeria.
“That It will serve the interest of justice if the Honourable court grants the application and join the applicants as defendants in the suit and that the plaintiffs will not be prejudiced if the application is granted”.
“That the Igbo Lawyers Association and its objective is to represent the interest of the Igbo people which said people are Indigenous in the south-east of Nigeria. Thus, the association is interested and is a necessary party to be joined.