A dispute over land between two communities of Ogui Nike and Ugwuaji in Enugu North and Enugu South local government area of the state suffered setback yesterday in court following disagreement over legal representation. A mild drama, however, ensued in the High Court presided over by Justice C. C. Ani as counsel brawled over legal representation of five deceased plaintiffs in the case initiated in 2005.
The plaintiffs on record in suit No. E/439/2005, Benjamin Atu, Aneke Ede, Jackson Nshi, Ewo Nnaji, Godwin Ani and Sunday Ngene for themselves and Ugwuaji community on one hand and Igwe Tony Ojukwu, Joseph Nnaji, Ikechukwu Agbo and Paul Anike for themselves and members of Ogui Nike community on the other. When the matter came up, lawyer to the first set of defendants, Mr. Kelvin Nwufor (SAN) told the court that the five plaintiffs on record were dead. Nwufor, therefore, brought a motion to substitute them, arguing that the rules provided that either the lawyers for the plaintiffs or defendants could apply to bring new plaintiffs in such circumstance.
He, therefore, sought to substitute the deceased plaintiffs with living plaintiffs from the same community. He told the court that the dead plaintiffs had earlier withdrawn their statements of claim before their demise as it was improper for anyone to claim to be representing dead plaintiffs.