How a senior lawyer tricked her junior to obtain stamps, forge signature to file suit against INEC BVAS 

BVAS

ONTINYECHI Joy Abazie, lawyer, whose stamp was used to file the case against the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has alleged that a senior lawyer tricked her to obtain her stamps and also forged her signature.

The lawyer in the middle of the controversial lawsuit filed at Federal High Court, Owerri, to stop electronic transmission of results and use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also allegedthat the lawyer who actually filed the lawsuit “forged” her signature on the court documents.

According to City Lawyer, Abazie, an Owerri-based lawyer, said that the senior lawyer has also apologized over the incident.

Restating her earlier disclaimer concerning the lawsuit, Abazie, who said that she is a “junior lawyer” in the Law Office of CK Mgbekonye & Co., Shekinah Chambers of No. 9 Egbu Road, Owerri, said: “I want to use this opportunity to further disclaim that I did not file any suit in Federal High Court, Owerri against INEC or Professor Mahmood Yakubu.”

She said that the suit “was filed in my name and without my consent by Blessing B. Mike Iwuajunwa, Esquire.”

Giving details on how her Nigerian Bar Association issued official stamp got on the court document, Abazie said: “She (Iwuajunwa) called me from our own office at No. 9 Egbu Road, Owerri, while I was in Lagos, during the NBA National Conference, requesting that I give her two of my (NBA) seals.

“I asked her what she needed to do with my seal; being a senior lawyer, at least she can afford to pay for any quantity that she wants. And she said she bought a landed property in her name, that she doesn’t want to be the donee and also the maker of the Power of Attorney.

“I said OK, no problem. Give any of our secretaries phone. She gave one of our secretaries Chinyere phone. And I instructed Chinyere where she would collect my seal from and give this my learned senior – which Chinyere did.

“My learned senior left and promised that we would see when I come back from the conference. I came back from the conference and called her severally for us to meet, probably for me to go through the document that she has prepared and know if it is worth signing by me or not, but due to our busy schedules we didn’t meet.

“So I travelled to the village today in preparation of my mum’s burial which is (to hold) a week today, only for me to be getting numerous calls upon calls concerning this suit that she filed in my name without my consent.

“And the most painful part of it is that she also forged my signature. This is so disheartening. I am being distracted now from the normal activities that brought me home.

“I don’t know why a senior lawyer of her kind that I respect so much, how she could descend this low to do things at my own detriment. I feel very very bad. I feel really pained now.

“She has called to apologize, but then the deed has been done.”

Iwuajunwa told City Lawyer she was not involved in the matter, and accused the reporter of  ‘hacking’ her telephone number, even as she kept asking: “How did you get my number?”

Iwuajunwa also said: “I just read the disclaimer you sent to me. I want to know how I am connected.” She finally stated that “there is a misplacement in the name” but did not respond to further enquiries.

 Abazie had disowned the lawsuit, saying she does not know the plaintiff, Nwankwere Morale Chinwen.

In the controversial suit, Chinwen is urging the Federal High Court sitting in Owerri to grant “AN ORDER of injunction restraining the Defendants, whether by themselves, staff, officers, privies, or howsoever described from using or deploying the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) or any other similar device, equipment, instrument, or gadget of such or same nature for the accreditation of registered voters in the 2023 General Elections.”

The plaintiff is also seeking “AN ORDER of injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, staff, officers, privies, or howsoever described from electronically transmitting, feeding or collating the results of elections at the 2023 General Elections.”

Dated August 24, 2022, the lawsuit was allegedly filed by “J. O. ABAZIE, ESQ” of Dimogbuji Chambers, 134 Wetheral Road, Owerri.

KN