A faction of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday lost the battle for control of the party in the state.
This was as a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, affirmed that Hon Igochukwu Aguma was the authentic Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party in the state.
The court also ordered the Sokonte Davies-led committee, which is loyal to Amaechi, to stop parading itself because it existence lacked constitutional backing.
The Rivers APC chapter has been embroiled in factional crisis over time, with a faction loyal to Amaechi and the order faction, where Igochukwu Aguma belongs, backing Senator Magnus Abe,
While delivering judgement in the case brought by Hon. Golden Ben Chioma, the presiding Judge, Justice Chuku, said the actions of the first and second defendant, Davies and Andrew Uchendu, were not supported by law.
The court also dismissed the argument by Davies that Chioma had no right to institute the action, saying he was qualified to express his grievances, being a card-carrying member of the party and a statutory member of the state executive committee.
The judge also dismissed the application of the first and second defendants for a ‘Stay of Execution’ on the court’s order of June 24 on the grounds that the applicant could not prove or show that there was a special circumstances for the application, and that the court could not deprive a litigant a fair hearing for his grievances.
He said: “The application for a stay of execution is unmeritorious. The first and second defendants can’t benefit from their illegality. This application is hereby dismissed.
“Having examined the processes and the actions of the first and second defendants, their actions are not supported by law. They do not possess the power to convene and hold a meeting without the knowledge of the 4th defendant.
“The suspension of the fourth defendant (Igochukwu Aguma) is invalid and hereby declared null and void. An order of perpetual injunction is hereby granted, restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants (Sokonte & Ors) from holding any meeting or acting on behalf of the 3rd Defendant(APC).
“An order of perpetual injunction is hereby granted that the 1st and 2nd defendant (Sokonte, Ors) are restrained from parading themselves as the 4th defendant.”
In his reaction to the judgment, Chioma, a former Rivers House of Assembly Majority Leader, said it was time for all party members to queue behind Aguma to reorganise the party.
He said: “I wish to commend the judiciary for this timeous intervention which has enabled the party to rediscover the will of our founding fathers clearly expressed in the APC constitution.
“Let me humbly call on all members of the State Executive Committee, leaders and members of the APC in Rivers State to put the ugly past characterized by internal wrangling behind and rally round Rt Hon Igochukwu Aguma, Caretaker Chairman of the party to unite our party and conduct free, fair and credible congresses that will deepen the confidence of Rivers people in the progressive ideals which APC represent.
“Indeed, this is the ideal time for unity and cohesion. We have been presented yet again with a golden opportunity to re-engineer our party for greatness.
“We can’t let this opportunity slip away. We have suffered enough as members of APC and this is time to put our party together so that our individual and collective aspirations can be achieved.”
- JUST IN: Nigeria records 150 new cases of COVID19; recoveries, deaths updated - October 30, 2020
- Military kill 22 Boko Haram fighters in Borno - October 30, 2020
- NLC charges Nigerian govt to end medical tourism - October 29, 2020