APC leadership crisis: Court fixes June 26 for ruling

Posted on Jun 8 2018 - 9:30am by admin

The Federal High Court in Enugu will on June 26 rule on applications brought before it on the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), Enugu State chapter.

The suit is fallout of the May 19 state congress of the party.

Dr. Ben Nwoye has already been issued with certificate of return by the National Leadership of the party.

However, Mr. Okey Ogbodo, who emerged from a parallel congress conducted by the faction loyal to the foreign affairs minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, had approached the court seeking to be recognized.

Joined as defendants in the suit are Chief John Oyegun, the National Chairman of the party, Nwoye, the APC and the National Working Committee of the party.

At the resumed hearing, the court presided over by Justice A. M. Liman fixed the ruling after hearing motion of preliminary objection from counsel to the respondent/applicants, Mr Godwin Onwosi.

Onwosi said that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He also said that the reliefs sought by the plaintiff/respondents were ‘non-justiceable’ as the matter was purely an intra-party affair.

The counsel said that the court processes were defective as the plaintiff/respondents failed to endorse the writ of summons as made mandatory by Section 98 of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act.

“The major crux of our contention is that a writ for service outside the state must be endorsed concurrently since there are defendants in and out of Enugu,” he said.

He also said that the plaintiff/applicants having mis-spelt the name of the party, joined a none-juristic person in the matter

“The name of the party was wrongly spelt in the suit and this is not the kind of misnomer that could be remedied.

“This court also lacks jurisdiction because as a Federal High Court, no federal government agency is a party to the suit,” he added while also stating that by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the court lacked powers to wade into affairs of a political party, with regards to choice of leadership.

Responding, counsel to the plaintiff/respondents, Mr Abdul Mohammed told the court that his clients had a valid case and that the suit should stay.

Mohammed said that the constitution of the APC was not abided by in the conduct of the congress that produced Nwoye.

“My client had on May 19 conducted state congress in a venue approved by the leadership of the party and in compliance with the guidelines.

“On May 20, Nwoye who is one of the defendants held another congress,” he said.

The counsel said that the later congress was not in compliance with the guidelines of the party in relation with the date and venue of the congress.

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