Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu: Meet the US-trained lawyer leading Peter Obi’s battle against INEC
Peter Obi and the Labor Party have dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria to the Supreme Court in an election petition that could have significant impact on Nigeria’s democracy.
The presidential candidate and his party face an uphill task in achieving what has never been accomplished in Nigeria’s democratic history which is compelling INEC to re-run the general elections of 2023.
To help them achieve the unthinkable, Obi and his party have recruited the services of a globally-recognized Nigerian lawyer who has on numerous occasions, battled for and against INEC.
Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu is the lead attorney for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
He is a Nigerian lawyer and also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was born in Onitsha, Anambra State.
He attended the prestigious Dennis Memorial Grammar School Onitsha and continued at CKC. He proceeded to the United States of America for a degree in political science before he went on to study law.
Having trained in the United States of America and attended Evanston College, Lake Forest College and Oklahoma City University where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science in 1982, He attended the Nigeria Law School in 1983. On graduation, he was called to the Nigerian Bar, in 1984 as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He did his National Youth Service in Benin City, from 1982-1983, serving in the law firm of Victor Aghayere Esq and completed his pupilage at the chambers of Mr S E Oputa from Oguta. He founded his first chambers in Onitsha and has expanded his practice to Abuja. The chambers has produced more than 5 Senior Advocates,Judges and Magistrates who are doing well in their own right .
In 2002, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) and in 2007, he was honoured by the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua with the National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Nigeria, (OON).
He is a fellow at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is also a member of the Nigerian Body of Benchers.
Some of the high profile cases he has handled are MOJEKWU V. MOJEKWU; MOJEKWU V. IWUCHUKWU preserving the inheritance right of a woman; NGIGE V OBI reported in (2006) 14 NWLR (Part 999) 1, a decision that brought Mr. Peter Obi to office as the duly elected Governor of Anambra State.
His adroit display of rare forensic advocacy skills led to the trail-blazing decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of OBI v INEC (2007)11NWLR (Part 1046)565, which case effectively re-calibrated the election metric rule in the hitherto uniform quadrennial elections into the office of Governors of States in Nigeria.
Dr. Ikpeazu conducted the defence of INEC in several election Petitions including the Presidential Election Petition that arose from the General Elections in 2011.
He also led the defence of INEC in several Governorship Election Petitions arising from the 2015 General election, including; Rivers state, Akwa Ibom state, Delta state, Abia state, Ebonyi state, Enugu state, Bayelsa state, Edo state respectively.
He equally led the team of lawyers that represented Senator Ademola Adeleke in the Osun State Governorship Election Petition.
Dr. Ikpeazu is also a lead counsel in several State Governorship Election Petitions and appeals arising from the recently concluded General Elections 2019; Ogun state, Akwa Ibom state, Rivers state, Enugu state, Ebonyi state, Abia state, Cross River state, Oyo state, Imo state.
Besides election cases, Dr. Ikpeazu has also provided legal representation in International Arbitrations across several jurisdictions.
With regards to criminal cases, Dr. Ikpeazu has successfully defended notable individuals in allegations of crimes. Among them are Hon. Justice Adeniyi Ademola, former Judge of the Federal High Court, and Late Justice Umezulike, former Chief Judge of Enugu State.
Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, OON, was initiated into Freemasonry, in Triumphant Lodge No. 8720 EC. He was thereafter passed and raised in the same Lodge.
He was installed in the chair of Triumphant Lodge No. 8720 EC in the year 2002.
Whilst still serving as Worshipful Master of Triumphant Lodge No. 8720 EC, W.Bro. Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, OON, was promoted to District Rank, by the then District Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro. Prince Adediji Adedoyin, on his official visit to the Lodge.
He currently holds the District Rank of PDGReg., conferred on him by the District Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro. Olorogun Moses Oghenerume Taiga.
W. Bro.Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, OON is a member of the Ancient and Prestigious Agbalanze Society of Onitsha, with the title of EZENNIA. He is happily married with Children.