Two cousins in court for destroying relative's property worth N455 million

The United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has for the third time in a space of one month ruled against Jackon Ude, publisher of Pointblanknews.com in a  case of motions both him and Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of Nigerian Content Development Board, NCDMB,brought against each other. 

While the court dismissed and denied Ude’s motion, it granted the relief sought by Wabote.

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The latest development on Wednesday, January 5, is that the American court squashed the subpoenas Ude issued to five banks, including three from Nigeria to provide Wabote’s banking details..

While dismissing his motion during one of the court sessions, the court ordered Ude to enter into a protective order before Wabote is required to disclose any banking or other personal and sensitive information. It gave Ude December 22, 2021, deadline for completion of fact discovery in the original scheduling order and to file dispositive motions by January 4, 2022while all other deadlines remain in full force and effect.

Also, on January 5, 2022, the court while dismissing “Ude’s motion in its entirety” for the second time, viewed it as “in conclusory, boilerplate type language: insufficient process; insufficient service of process; and failure to join a party under Rule 19. Ude’s Motion does not mention these defenses again. Nor are these defenses mentioned in Ude’s Reply. 

As a result, the court finds these defenses to be “[t]hrow-away arguments left undeveloped [and they] are also considered waived.” 

The latest court order against the publisher of the Pointblanknews.com was given by Joseph F. Leeson, Jr., United States District Judge, Eastern District of Pennsylvania on “this 12th day of January, 2022, upon consideration of Plaintiff’s letter-briefs, see ECF Nos. 81 and 84, Defendant’s response letter-brief, see ECF No. 85, and after a telephone conference held on this date,1 during which both parties’ presented argument.”

Ude, contrary to what the court ordered him to do went beyond his brief to subpoena managers of five banks seeking records after the deadline had passed. 

Sequel to this, Michael D. Cilento, counsel to Wabote, moved the court for an order to quash and void the subpoenas from Ude since they were served too late in the case outside the discovery deadline.

Judge Leeson, Jr., agreed with Wabote’s counsel and issued an order on Wednesday, January 12, voiding Ude’s subpoenas.

In the one-page document, Judge Leeson noted that “Attorney Michael D. Cilento, Esq. participated on behalf of Plaintiff (Wabote), and attorneys Benneth Onyema Amadi, Esq. and Obinna I. Abara, Esq. participated on behalf of Defendant (Ude).

“The Court voids these subpoenas because they were issued after the fact discovery deadline. See ECF No. 59. Contrary to Defendant’s argument, the Court’s December 21, 2021 Order, ECF No. 74, granted Defendant an additional 30 days to depose Mr. Wabote only. Unless specifically stated otherwise by this Court in a later order, the deadline for all fact discovery expired on December 22, 2021. See id.”

Also, the judge granted the Plaintiff’s (Wabote) request to quash Defendant’s (Ude) subpoenas, ECF Nos. 81 and 84.

He ruled that: “All subpoenas issued by Defendant after December 22, 2021, are null and void.”

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