Awara in a fix as Tribunal approves new lawyer for AAC - Rivers guber
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Senior lawyer, Henry Bello, who spearheaded the litigation for the factional All Progressives Congress in Rivers State led by Senator Magnus Abe has officially taken over the petition of the African Action Congress, AAC, at the Rivers Governorship Election Tribunal.
AAC is the party of Biokpomabo Awara who enjoyed the backing of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi after the courts stopped the APC from participating in the 2019 elections in the state following a running battle with Senator Abe.
The gubernatorial election tribunal in Port Harcourt ordered Henry Bello to represent African Action Congress, AAC in the ongoing matter at the Tribunal.
Before now, Tawo Tawo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was representing both the AAC and its governorship candidate in the state, Biokpomabo Awara, at the Tribunal.
But all that came to an end because of the removal of Sowore and other National Executive Members of the AAC which led to the emergence of Leonard Nzenwa as Acting Chairman of the party.
Lead judge of the Tribunal, Justice K Ojiako made the order in a ruling over controversies surrounding who should represent the AAC.
The judge held that Bello was appointed by the acting national chairman of AAC, and took over from May 21, 2019 when he served Tawo Tawo SAN the notice for change of legal representation.
Reacting, counsel to AAC, Henry Bello said the judgment has granted him an opportunity to serve the party.
“What the Tribunal has done is to give effect to order 9 Rule 35 of the Federal High Court which is also applicable to the Elections Petition Tribunal which gives every litigant a right to Counsel of his choice.
“The Court described as wanton abuse, the processes that the first petitioner has been filing on behalf of the second petitioner after I had effectively taken over as Counsel to AAC since May 21.”
On his part, David Adegbe, who stood in for the SAN, Tawo Tawo, representing Awara, said, “The Court has in its wisdom declared that counsel to the second petitioner should be allowed to take over the proceedings. That is the reality of the moment.”
The Tribunal adjourned to July 1 for adoption of motions.
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