Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has adjourned ruling in the application filed for a stay of execution by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr Victor Umeh and secretary of the party, Sani Shinkafi.
Umeh and Shinkafi had approached the court through their lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto, seeking a stay of execution and an injunction restraining Mr Maxi Okwu and all the officers elected with him at the party’s national convention on the 8th of April 2013, from assuming their respective offices pending the determination of their appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Ikwueto urged the court to grant the application, stating that a person who lost litigation is entitled to approach the court to make a preservative order. He also urged the court to grant an order maintaining status quo pending the determination of the appeal already filed.
Oba Maduabuchi, counsel to Maxi Okwu and all the officers elected with him, opposed the application for stay of execution of the judgment and an injunction restraining the Okwu leadership from running the affairs of the party.
Ruling on the application has now been fixed for the March 13.
The Maxi Okwu-led faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has appointed the wife of the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu as the new leader of the party
This is in line with an earlier resolution taken on March 22, 2013.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja at the end of the party’s National Executive Committee meeting, Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Stanley Chira, said that the new appointment takes immediate effect.
The party, however, frowned at the election time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, saying that the electoral umpire never consulted any of the political parties before announcing the dates for the 2015 general elections.
Another faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, led by Victor Umeh, had in January appointed the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, as its National Leader and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT).
Umeh, stated that the choice of Obi was due to his contributions towards keeping the party alive in the past 11 years, and for particularly ensuring that an APGA member succeeds him on March 17, 2014 when his tenure ends.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had sacked the National Executive of the APGA led by Mr Victor Umeh as National Chairman and Sani Shinkafi as National Secretary.
The court declared that Messrs Victor Umeh and Sani Shinkafi cannot continue to hold office as National Chairman and National Secretary in violation of the constitution of the party, which stipulates a maximum tenure of eight years.
The court also ruled that the valid national officers of the party were those led by Mr Maxi Okwu.
Lawyer to Messrs Umeh and Shinkafi, Mr Patrick Ikwueto, has filed a notice of appeal, challenging the verdict of the court on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The leadership and members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, have commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his neutral position in the just concluded Governorship election in Anambra state.
The National Chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh, in his submission said that though the party grappled with a lot of issues before and even after the election, the President in his firm belief in democracy never in any way intruded or meddled in the electoral process.
He said that despite the fact that his party was involved in the election too, President Jonathan insisted that the opinion of the people of Anambra State must count in the polls.
The APGA governorship candidate, Willie Obiano, however reminded the party members of the enormous tasks ahead, that requires concerted effort and support of all and sundry.
The Ngige Campaign Organisation has described the claims by Governor Peter Obi and the APGA National Chairman, blaming it for the Anambra church stampede as an orchestrated lie.
At a meeting with journalists in Awka, the state capital, on Monday November 4, the organisation dismissed the validity of Governor Obi’s claims and also questioned his credibility in setting up an inquiry into the incident.
The statement by the organisation read, “It is rather most unfortunate that the State Governor and the APGA National Factional Chairman chose to play politics with such a national tragedy in which they were both principal actors.”
“The statement credited to the Anambra State Government that the stampede which killed over 30 persons was caused by the supporters of Dr. Chris Ngige should therefore be disregarded as a tissue of lies that it is, by the good people of Anambra State and Nigerians in general.
“One thing stands out clearly, which can never be dimmed by any desperate campaign; this tragedy could have been avoided if the APGA campaign train did not visit the Adoration Ground at such an ungodly hour to campaign for votes.”
“The Governor should not hold Senator Chris Ngige responsible for his growing unpopularity, and how the people choose to react to him whenever he appears in public.”
The Governor had in his state wide broadcast on Sunday, mentioned the presence of a group of people “located in 3 different spots who started shouting the name of a gubernatorial candidate, Dr Chris Ngige and waving the brooms of All Progressives Congress and pictures of the same candidate” when he was called by the presiding priest to speak to the people.
He also claimed that he left the crusade ground at 3:00am, local time, whereas the incident took place at 5:00am.
A political party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has called for the arrest of Senator Chris Ngige, alleging that he masterminded the commotion that led to the death of over 25 persons and dozens injured at the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry Crusade.
The stampede occurred in Uke, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Saturday morning.
The National Chairman of the party, Victor Umeh, called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to arrest Senator Ngige. He demanded that Ngige should explain what his supporters were doing at the crusade ground with their party symbols of brooms and the governorship candidate’s posters.
He said that “it was a grand plot to cause confusion at the prayer ground.”
Umeh also warned other politicians to desist from politics of confusion.
Senator Ngige is the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District and the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in the state’s forthcoming gubernatorial election.
The Anambra State government had accused the supporters of Ngige for the unfortunate incident.
Senator Ngige denied the allegations, describing it as an attempt by the state governor and the All Progressives Grand Alliance to tarnish his reputation in the state.
Ngige, accompanied by his wife, was at the hospital where survivors are receiving treatment to commiserate with them.
He called for an unbiased investigation into the cause of the incident.
The gubernatorial election of Anambra State will hold on November 16.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance governorship candidate, Willie Obiano advanced his campaign by visiting 5 major markets in Onitsha, Anambra state, beginning with the Ajasa market.
Obiano, who was accompanied by his running mate, Nkem Okeke, the National Chairman of the party, Victor Umeh and the state governor, Peter Obi, reminded the people that the forthcoming election is critical as it will determine as well as redefine the political base of the Igbos.
His visit to his childhood home at Ajasa community was greeted by traders to whom he pledged total commitment and promised to deliver the dividends of democracy if voted into power.
At the Ose Okwodu market, traders received the campaign train with a rousing welcome after-which Umeh, and the state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, charged up the arena with speeches urging the people to identify with APGA and be assured of continued development.
Obiano and his entourage moved to Bright Street where the leadership of the market endorsed him on the basis that Governor Obi supported street trading in the Main Market and ensured it was not scraped.
A crowd also gathered at the White House, the administrative block of the Onitsha Main Market, to catch a glimpse of the APGA campaign train.
At the Marine market, the traders were promised a security patrol vehicle which will be delivered to them immediately.
The APGA candidate danced his way into Bida/Okwey Street where a five-kilometer road which cost one billion Niara (about 6.3 million dollars) was flagged off.
The Timber market as well as the Bridge market were also visited. Traders received the campaign train with joy and promises of better days ahead were made to them.
Onitsha South stadium was the terminal point of the day’s campaign and the governorship candidate made promises of free education, free adult medical treatment and free prenatal treatment.
“I will establish an enabling environment for business to thrive if you support and vote for me,” Obiano promised.
The Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh has said that the process for nominating a candidate to represent a party during an election is an internal affair of the party; stating that the court cannot have a say in it.
Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, Mr. Umeh explained that the party had to screen aspirants who were interested in contesting for the party’s ticket and unfortunately the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo was part of the people that were not cleared, revealing that Soludo took the party to court and the court dismissed the case.
Mr. Umeh mentioned that it’s the subjective decision of the party that will determine who will qualify for the primary election, he said “if the party looks at the aspirants and screens them within its own criteria and judgment, the party has the right to say these are the people they consider viable to go for the election on its behalf”. He added that the people that were not cleared were given reasons why they weren’t cleared.
He debunked the allegation that the governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi is trying to impose the former governor of Central Bank as his successor, stating that “it is not the case”.
An Enugu State High Court has ruled that the tenure of Victor Umeh as National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance ended on December 2nd 2010.
The judgment followed a suit filed by a former local council chairman of the party, Jude Okuli, asking the court to determine whether Mr. Umeh should remain the National Chairman after four years in office without a valid re-election.
The petitioner also asked the court to declare Mr Umeh’s continued stay in office as National Chairman illegal, void and in contravention of the party’s constitution.
Delivering judgment which was earlier stalled by Mr. Umeh’s interlocutory appeal, the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike threw out the argument by defence counsel, Mr. Patrick Ikwueto that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
However, neither Umeh nor his counsel was present in court when judgment was delivered.
A High Court sitting in Enugu today asked Chief Victor Umeh to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Allinace (APGA).
Presiding Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike said “his tenure actively ended on December 2, 2010.”
The judgment followed a case filed by a former Udi local council chairman of the party, Jude Okuli, praying the court to determine among other issues whether by virtue of the proper interpretation of section 18: 2, 3, 4 and 5 of APGA constitution, the defendant, Umeh, should remain the national chairman after four years in office without re-election.
Coming by way of originating summons, the petitioner invited the court to declare that the continued stay in office by Umeh as the national chairman after four years without a valid convention announced by the national executive committee of the party is illegal, void and ultra vires.
Delivering the judgment which was temporarily remanded due to Umeh’s interlocutory appeal, Justice Umezulike rebuffed the objections of the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter and that the petitioner, Jude Okuli, lacked locus standi to institute the matter having been expelled from the party for violence and anti-party activities.
The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that the non-joinder of APGA renders the suit defective as well as the claim that having earlier instituted a similar action in court, “the instant case amounts to an abuse of judicial processes.”
Justice Umezulike, sparing ample time to dissect the issues formulated for determination, held that the court should not retreat in terror at the mere mention of domestic business of a political party.
He said, “Unless a political party conducts its business in strict observance of the rule of law, the court can be invited to interpret the law which is its exclusive business as in the instant case.”
He, therefore, ruled that the defendant’s occupation of the office of national chairman of APGA is contravention of the party’s constitution, insisting that the question as to whether he ought to resign at least two months prior to the national convention for a re-election becomes academic.
Neither Umeh nor his counsel was present in court, but reacting to the judgment, the plaintiff, Jude Okuli said the judgment was a sound one explaining that it was a victory for APGA since according to him, “the party would begin to experience new lease of freedom and reorganisation.”
Also the Special Adviser to Governor Peter Obi on Markets and Parks, Elder Sylvester Nwobu-Alor, said the judgment has opened the door effectively for the restructuring of APGA.
Nwobu-Alor added, “It would amount to “tomfoolery” for any party to appeal the verdict.”
An Abuja high court has reaffirmed its August 7th order restraining Alhaji Sadiq Massalla and Dr Ifedi Okwenna from parading themselves as the acting national chairman and acting national secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The court warned that the ruling subsists pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed before the court by Mr Victor Umeh.
The court presided over by Justice Husseni Baba-Yusuf while adjourning the matter to September 13th for further hearing directed that counsel to the defendants, James Ikenyi be served in court as he had earlier complained that his clients were not properly served and that they only saw the order of the court on the pages of newspapers.
It would be recalled that the court gave the order after hearing an ex-parte application moved by counsel to APGA, Mr Patrick Ikwueto on behalf of its national chairman chief Victor Umeh and national secretary Alhaji Aani Shinkafi.
The court had also restrained Massalla and Okwenna from convening, calling or organizing or holding any meeting of any organ of APGA and or otherwise interfering in any manner whatsoever in the affairs of APGA at any level pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice which has been fixed for September 13th.
Umeh and Shinkafi had in a motion ex-parte asked the court to restrain the duo from interfering in the affairs of the party as they have been suspended from the party since June 21st 2012.
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has gotten back its registration certificate which was withheld by its former chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie.
For eight years, the founding chairman of APGA, Chief Okorie and the present national chairman of the party, Chief Umeh were engulfed in legal tussle over the leadership of the party.
However, Chief Okorie recently returned the certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and officially ended the legal tussle to set in motion his plan to float a new party.
He had withheld the certificate after he was expelled by the Chief Umeh led faction of the party.
The Supreme Court had ruled that Chief Okorie was validly expelled from the party in line with the party’s constitution.
APGA’s national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, who spoke to journalists shortly after receiving the certificate from the INEC hopes that the party can now focus on re-building its structures now that the leadership crisis has been laid to rest.