National Chairman of the Action Alliance party, Chief Kenneth Obidiche Udeze, has filed a Direct Criminal Complaint in Court to challenge the alleged defamation of his character by the former Osun State Chairman of the Action Alliance, Mr. Rufai Adekunle Omoaje.
Mr. Rufai Omoaje, was alleged to have written a petition to the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), accusing Udeze of signature forgery and Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) documents and false representation.
Mr. Omoaje was also alleged to have, in the same petition, queried whether Chief Udeze was actually a lawyer as he claimed to be.
A copy of the petition presented before the Secretary General of the NBA and signed by Mr. Omoaje also included his phone number for onward further correspondence.
In a direct criminal complaint pursuant to sections 89(3) and 110(1) of the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 Counsel to Chief Udeze, S. C. Uchendu & Co. approached the Registrar,
Magistrate Court of FCT, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja.
The Law firm prayed the Court for Criminal Summons to be issued against Mr. Rufai Omoaje (Defendant) at the instance of the Chief Kenneth Udeze, (Complainant).
S. C. Uchendu wrote: “Prior to emerging as the National Chairman of Action Alliance in 2017, the Defendant, wrote a petition against the Complainant accusing him of forging of signatures and INEC documents as well as false representation.
Please, kindly cause Criminal Summons to be issued against the above named Defendant at the instance of the above named Complainant on the following:
“Sometime in April, 2017, the Complainant emerged as the National Chairman of Action Alliance through the elective National Convention organized by the party in Abuja.
“The Defendant, whose cohorts and allies lost at the Convention, resorted to making defamatory and insulting publications against the Complainant.
“Prior to emerging as the National Chairman of Action Alliance in 2017, the Defendant, with one wrote a petition against the Complainant accusing him of forging of signatures and INEC documents as well as false representation.
“Some of the defamatory words include “As a matter of fact, Mr. Kenneth Udeze apart from including our client’s name in the resolution also forged his signature to give the impression that the document/resolution was genuine…A copy of the petition dated 6th April, 2017 is hereby attached.”
“Pursuant to the petition, the Complainant was charged before FCT Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Wuse Zone 2, Abuja wherein the Defendant personally testified against the Complainant.
“On 11th September, 2017, the Defendant also wrote and personally signed another defamatory, insulting and disparaging petition/publication to the Nigerian Bar Association against the Complainant whereby the Defendant said that the Complainant forged signatures of members of the National Executive Committee of Action Alliance and also that the Complainant is not a lawyer. The exact words of the defamatory and insulting publications read as follows:
“Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze forged the signatures of the members of the National Executives who were supposed to attend the meeting and produced the Resolution of the fictitious meeting which he forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja… That forensic analysis of Chief M. A. Adenekan and the one forged by Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze revealed that the two signatures are not.comparable…I doubt very much if Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze is actually a lawyer…”
Certified True Copy of the petition dated 11th September, 2017 is hereby attached.
“The Complainant was finally discharged by the court after holding that there was no prima facie case against the Complainant and that none of the ingredients of the alleged offences was established. Certified True Copy of the Ruling of FCT Magistrate Court in Charge No: CR/09/2017 between COMMISSIONER OF POLICE v. KENNETH UDEZE & 1 OR is hereby attached.
Having being discharged of the alleged offences, and the judgment of FCT magistrates court remains unchallenged till date.
“The Defendant also attached a copy of the petition written on behalf of Chief Michael Adenekan to the petition he wrote against the Complainant to the Nigerian Bar Association hence personally conveying the imputation against the Complainant.
“All the petitions/publications were made and submitted by the Defendant in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while the trial of the Complainant also took place in Abuja.
“Sequel to the petitions, and publications made by the Defendant against the Complainant, the Nigerian Bar Association wrote to the Complainant requesting him to submit his response. Certified True Copy of the letter dated October 16, 2017 is hereby attached.
“The Complainant submitted his response through his lawyer, Malachy C. Nwaekpe of M. C. Chambers. An acknowledgment copy of the letter dated 22nd November, 2017 is hereby attached.
“The Defendant made the defamatory publications against the Complainant with the intent to insult him and cause damage to his personality, reputation and profession as a lawyer and politician.
“The defamatory publications by the Defendant and the subsequent charge and trial in court portrayed the Complainant as a criminal and brought him down in the eyes of right thinking members of the society, the Nigerian Bar Association as well as the people in the gallery of the court during the trial of the Complainant.
“Till date, the Defendant is still making defamatory and insulting publications against the Complainant.
“WHEREOF: The Complainant alleges that the acts of the Defendant amount to and/or constitute criminal defamation, criminal falsehood and insult punishable under sections 391, 392, 393, 394 and 399 respectively of the Penal Code Act.
“The Complainant shall rely on the documents attached hereto in prosecution of his case: In the Magistrates Court of the Federal Capital Territory Holden at Wuse Zone 2, Abuja.
Mr. Omoaje’s petition against Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze before the Secretary General of NBA reads:
“I am the state chairman of action Alliance (A.A) a duly registered Political party in Nigeria in Osun state while is the national Secretary of the party Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze usurped the power of the national chairman and other national executive members of the party to convene a fictious meeting of the national think thank (N.T.T.C) of the party on the 7th of January, 2017, at plot 1977 Orlu Street, Area 3 Garki, Abuja.
“In actual fact, no meeting of the (N.T.T.C) of the party took place on the said date. But Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze forged the signatures of members of the National Executives who were supposed to attend the meeting and produced the Resolution of the fictitious meeting which he forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja with a covering letter dated 9th January, 2017.
“It is on this basis of this forged resolution of NTTC of the party that the Independent National Electoral Commission, approved the conduct of the National Convention of the party which was fixed for 8“’ of April, 2017, it was when we got to Abuja for the convention that we discovered all the atrocities committed by
“Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze who has already perfected the plan to make himself the National Chairman of the party. Chief M. A. Adenekan, the National Vice Chairman (South West) of the party cause a petition to be written by the office of OJ Onoja (SAN) to the commissioner of police, FCT, command against Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze.
“The Nigerian Police Force has concluded the investigation and Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze and others have been charged to court. A copy of the petition entitled “Complaint of Criminal Conspiracy, Forgery and False Representation and Criminal Defamation Against Barrister Kenneth Udeze” is attached as Exhibit A.
“That through a letter dated 8th April, 2017, a request for the certified true copy (C.T.C) of Inec Monitoring Team Report on the purported Action Alliance National Convention Carries the true signature of Chief M.A. Adenekan from the signature that was reportedly forged on 17th January, 2017, the letter dated 8th April, 2017 is attached as exhibit B.
That Forensic analysis of Chief M.A. Adenekan and the one forged by Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze revealed that the two signatures are not comparable. The forensic report dated and attached exhibit C.
“That consequent upon Chief M.A. Adenekan petition, Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze is currently facing criminal trial at the Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse II, Abuja. The charge sheet with police report is hereby attached as exhibit D.
“That I attached Barrister Kenneth Udeze photograph as exhibit E for you to compare if the man in the photo is the same man answering the name Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze.
“I want you to use your good office to investigate this case as it is least expected of a member of Legal Professional to engage in such criminal acts. I doubt very much if Barrister Kenneth Obidiche Udeze is actually a lawyer.”
When contacted, Mr. Omoaje said: “I don’t have any knowledge about any defamatory suit against me, and if I write to NBA to know whether somebody is a lawyer is it an offense?.”