The Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal has affirmed the judgment of an Anambra State High Court, which dismissed a suit challenging the convening of a referendum to determine whether the name of a community in Anambra State, Nkerehi, should be changed to Umuchukwu.
The appellants, Basil Igwike and others, had approached the lower court sitting in Ekwulobia, Anambra State, seeking an order restraining the respondents, Mr. Dubem Obaze and others, from carrying on with the proposed referendum to change the community’s name.
The trial judge, Justice C. O. Amaechi, however dismissed the suit for lacking in merit after which the displeased plaintiffs went on appeal.
However, the appellate court, in a lead judgment by Justice Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, affirmed the decision of the lower court.
Justice Ogunwumiju rejected the argument by the appellants that “the mediation of the 1st respondent (a special adviser to the governor on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters) amounted to quasi-judicial proceedings.”
Justice Ogunwumiju said the special adviser’s role could not be described as quasi- judicial inasmuch as he did not hear any evidence in the prosecution or defence of a claim in which he was obliged to take a decision.