…Adjourns Substantive Suit to October 25, 2018
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has slammed a perpetual injunction on the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, restraining them from conducting any State congress in Cross River, saying no committee, privies by whatever name called or any organ of the party has such powers.
Recall that the NWC had, few weeks ago, cancelled the State congress which was observed by INEC and which produced Godwin Etim John-led Exco. It also cancelled the parallel congress through which Matthew Achigbe emerged as Chairman.
Although Godwin Etim John was inaugurated by former National Chairman John Odigie Oyegun, the new NWC, led by Ohiomhole said the exercise fell short of the party’s constitutional provisions.
Unconfirmed reports say the rescheduled congress, ordered by Abuja secretariat of the party, is billed for Wednesday, August 22, 2018. But the Abuja court seems to have submitted that the NWC has no powers to conduct a fresh congress insisting that it is only the national convention of the party that could interfere in the concluded congress.
The said injunction which was dated August 16, 2018 and signed by Justice O.A Musa in suit No FCT/HC/CV/106/2018 between Sylvester Okpo of APC Cross River Southern Senatorial, Regina Takon, APC ex officio and Charles Esasim APC Cross River State Youth Leader as plaintiffs and APC Nigeria as defendant also granted an order for accelerated hearing and adjourned the matter to 25th October, 2018 for definite hearing.
It read in part: “That an order is hereby made restraining the defendant either by itself, any committee, privies by whatever name called or any organ of the party except national convention, from purporting to nullify the congress of the Cross River State of the defendant or in any manner interfere, suspend or breach the rights and privileges of the claimants as the State Executive Officers or other Local Government and Ward Officers of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State pending the determination of the substantive case in the originating summons.
“It is hereby ordered that the time with which the defendant may enter appearances and file defense is abridged to 14 days from service of the originating process. That an order for accelerated hearing is hereby granted. Case adjourned to 25th October, 2018 for definite hearing.”
Investigations revealed that all heads of security agencies in Cross River, including the Cross River Police command, the State Director of SSS and the electoral body, INEC, are aware of the court order and have vowed to distance themselves from any proposed new congress.
Some party chieftains who spoke to our reporter under the condition of anonymity feared such development could result in violent clashes.