The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Mr Victor Oye as the authentic National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), bringing a long legal dispute over the leadership of the party to an end.
In a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel of justices, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal that was filed by a faction of the party led by Martin Agbaso.
Justice Sidi Bage, who delivered the lead judgment, upheld the August 16, 2017, verdict of the court of Appeal in Enugu, which vacated the order of mandamus that directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to relate with and to recognise Agbaso as the authentic national chairman of APGA.
“In the final analysis, the two issues in the appeal is resolved in favour of the 1st respondent. The appeal lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed. The judgment of the lower court is affirmed. I make no order as to cost,” Justice Bage held.
The court said its decision to affirm two appellate court judgments that were delivered on August 15 and 16, 2017, is based “on need to do substantial justice without delving into technicalities”.
Justice Bage said the court was duty bound to look beyond “some technical blunders” and determine the case on its merit.
The battle for control of the leadership structure in APGA was triggered after an Enugu State High Court, on May 22, 2017, gave an order of mandamus compelling INEC, police and other authorities, to recognise Agbaso as the national chairman of the party.