Barrister Fabian Onwughalu Was Behind Ohanaeze Ndigbo Consent Judgment
OpenLife Nigeria reports that the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, in this conversation, opens up on how the former President of Ohanaeze, Barrister Fabian Onwughalu, sold the idea of a Consent Judgment to him and later demanded N40m.
Chief Solomon Aguene stated this on the heels of purported interviews, which Chief Onwughalu granted in the media alleging that Chief Aguene wanted a second tenure which was against the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State.
Narrating what happened before he became Ohanaeze President, Aguene explained that most of the crisis in Ohanaeze in Lagos State was caused by Chief Onwughalu due to his attitude of playing double-game and betraying three persons he had promised to help install as Ohanaeze President at the same time.
Recalling what transpired, Aguene stated that Onwughalu was elected as Ohanaeze President in 2013 and his tenure was due to elapse in 2017 but the election was delayed till 2018 because of his alleged double standard.
He explained that Onwughalu had promised Chief Everest Ozonweke (Onowu), Chief Leonard Okafor, (Oba Ojoto) and Chief Vitus Uzor the position as President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State at the same after allegedly collecting huge sums of money from them.
However, the whole plot backfired after Chief Ozonweke discovered that he was not only the person Onwughalu had promised the position as the Ohanaeze President and had even endorsed Chief Okafor, who at that point paid him the highest amount.
At that juncture, Ozonweke realized that Onwughalu had betrayed him and he went for revenge by causing enemity between Onwughalu and the then President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nna Nwodo, by telling him negative things against Onwughalu.
“The war between Nwodo and Onwughalu was like the Boko Haram fight; while Chief Onwughalu as Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, Lagos State, was planning to conduct election, Chief Nwodo directed him not to conduct any election in Lagos State and that it was the Ohanaeze Worldwide that will conduct the election but he ignored it” he said.
He went ahead to set up an electoral committee and conducted the election with Oba Ojoto emerging as President.
However, Chief Nwodo came to Lagos and nullified the election and appointed another electoral committee led by Nze Ikeokwu as Chairman while retired DIG Hilary Okpara, who was Chief Nwodo’s Deputy as the head of the delegation, conducted another election and Chief Solomon Aguene emerged as President.
It was at that point that Barrister Fabian Onwughalu went to Court and filed a suit against Nwodo and the electoral committee headed by Chief Ikeokwu supervised by DIG Okpara. Chief Aguene was later joined in the suit and while the matter was going on in the Court, Nwodo opted out because of the huge money he was spending coming from Enugu to defend the matter. He then asked Solomon Ogbonna Aguene to continue with the matter since he was the beneficiary of the election, which he conducted.
Chief Aguene stated that for over two years he was going to the Court, that Onwughalu led the team who had formed factional President of Ohanaeze and appointed Chief Nnamdi Nwaigwe (Odenjiji) as their own President but later removed him over money and installed Cornel Reuben Nwakor as another President within the said period.
Aguene further stated that while they were going to Court with Onwughalu’s group, he still recognized him as a former President of Ohanaeze and was paying him N100,000 monthly as allowance and even attended his in-law’s burial and gave him N300,000 cash.
He stated that before then, there had been discussions among the parties to the suit including Chief Mike Ozue Ome, one Ugonabo as led by Chief Onwughalu while Chief Ogbonna’s group was led by Chief Okoli (Nanka) at the National Stadium to find a lasting solution for Ohanaeze to become one in Lagos State.
On how the Consent Judgment started, Chief Aguene explained that Chief Onwughalu came to his office and apologized to him for what he had done to him on how he created two Ohanaeze Presidents namely Nnamdi Nwaigwe (Odejiji) and Colonel Reuben Nwakor while Chief Oliver Akubueze and Eze Uche Dimgba appointed Dr Femi Ferguson as their own factional President.
“He told me that I was a good man and have demonstrated that I have passion for the Igbo course and promised to work for peace so that I will lead Ndigbo in Lagos” Aguene said.
“He later brought a lawyer, Barrister Chuks Nnaluya, to prepare the documents and brought the idea of reconciliation in order to bring parties to the suit to have Consent Judgment so that I will continue and finish my tenure.”
Aguene was then said to have asked to know how it will be possible. He said that he was a lawyer and if the parties agree to the consent judgment, it was legal and not second tenure because the bylaws of Ohanaeze is Lagos State did not give room for second amendment, which he consulted other lawyers and they confirmed it.
He later brought Barrister Chucks Nnaluya, Chief Ozue Omee, Ugonabo and others and it was resolved that Barrister Nnaluya should prepare the consent judgment and Chief Aguene then appointed Chief Oliver Akubueze as the electoral chairman, in the judgment which stated that, apart from the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, the other positions will be dissolved in order to accommodate other parties in the suit.
He said that when the Lagos State High Court gave the consent judgment, he took it to Onwughalu’s house, where he saw the name of Chief Oliver Akubueze as the electoral committee chairman. Onwughalu then met Solomon Aguene in his office and told him that the arrangement will no longer work for bringing Chief Akubueze and by extension Eze Uche Dimgba on board. He then demanded for N40m settlement before he will consent to the judgment or he will go to Court and quash the judgment. Onwughalu later reduced it to N30m but he gave him N1m, which he rejected.
Aguene said that the next thing that happened was for Chief Onwughalu to join Chief Akubueze and Eze Uche Dimgba to plan on how to remove him as President and they went ahead to conduct kangoroo election, which produced Chief Sunday Ossai as their president.
He explained that both Onwughalu and Chief Oliver Akubueze including others were part of the arrangement and the judgment remains valid unless it is vacated in the Court.