By Abdulwahab Abdulah
The Esionwun family of Delta State have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba to dismissed a suit filed by one of their kinsmen, Augustine Jemeriegbe Ayavoro against Chevron Nig. Ltd and Ugborodo Community Trust on the ground that he (Augustine) lacks the authority of the family to file his suit.
According to their motion on notice, filed by their counsel, Mr Obakovie Cyril Kagho-Omomadia, the Jemegbe and Esionwun families who have approa-ched the court as an interested party to the main suit filed by their kinsmen, Augustine, were praying the court for an order declaring that the plaintiff obtained the familyâ€™s (Esionwun) authority and consent in deceit and that he lacks the familyâ€™s authority to institute the action.
Augustine Ayavoro had approached the court to, among others things, restrain Chevron Nig. Ltd. from having any dealings with Ugborodo Community Trust in respect of compensation to theÂ family.
Mr Frank Jemegbe, who is now representing the family in court in his 14-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, averred that Mr Augustine Jemeriegbe Ayavoro, who is a grandson of the Jemegbe family was never authorised to file the action in court in a represen-tative capacity and on behalf of the Esionwu family.
Jemegbe further averred that, â€œas a member of the family, I am aware and duly state herein that the Plaintiff aforementioned was not, has not and have never been authorised to file this action in a representative capacityÂ on behalf of the Esionwu family.
â€œThat I am aware that the authority apparently repre-sented by the Plaintiff was obtained deceitfully from Pa Omalemi Kuche, an illiterate, by the Plaintiffâ€™s mother and he has since apologised to the family, that he was misled.
â€œThat the said Augustine Jemcriegbe Ayavoro has no mandate to file the present action on behalf of the family in a representative capacity. That I am aware that the family did not meet to agree to filing the action. There was no resolution to that effect and that the head of the Esionwu family, Chief Pullen R.E. Esimimajemite, the lyoma of Ugborodo Community and Secretary to the family did not also authorise this action as he was not aware of it.â€
They also said the Jemegbe lineage of the Esionwu family has instructed a firm of lawyers,Â O. C. Kagho-Omomadia, to pursue their case before the High Court and have same struck out and/or dismiss this action. â€œThe family has dissociated itself from the action in their letter dated 8th October, 2009 and that he was awareÂ that our larger Esionwu family, by their letter of 14tb July, 2009, to the Registrar of Court, requested that the matter filed be dismissed.â€
They added that the order of the court is necessary to dismiss the action so as to ease the tension already created in their family and the community.