APGA leadership saga: Victor Oye heads for showdown as court reserves judgement for next week
May be committed to prison for contempt of court
Justice Mohammed Madugu of the Court 40 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari, Abuja, has reserved his judgement in the matter involving the leadership saga of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) till next week.
The suit, which was between APGA National Vice Chairman, South West, Otunba Camaru Lateef Ogidan, and Alhaji Mustapha Rabiu, National Welfare Officer of APGA, and the embattled former APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Ikechukwu Oye, was summed up on Friday.
The case opened with a judgement by Justice Madugu’s verdict over the request by Ikpeazu, SAN, last week to adjourn the matter sine die.
Ikpeazu had informed the Court that they have filed Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to strike out the Originating Summons for lack of jurisdiction.
He, thereafter, presented his evidence of Interlocutory Appeal and prayed the judge to defer to the Appeal Court and wait for the superior Court to decide on the matter and asked the court to adjourn sine die while the Notice of Appeal subsists.
Barr. Mike Ajara and Barr. Panam Ntui, Counsels to Otunba Camaru Ogidan and Alhaji Rabiu had countered him, informing the Court that the business of the day was for the Court to attend to the Preliminary Objection of Oye’s Counsel.
He argued his further affidavit on Contempt Charges and told the Court that the two businesses of the day can go on simultaneously.
Ajara, who kicked against Ikpeazu’s request, said that Oye was merely trying to dodge the court, having earlier failed to obtain his prayers at the Bwari Court.
According to Ajara, Oye’s counsel brought in the application in order to tie the hands of the court and to continue to wallow in misbehaviour.
He noted that all the relevant parties subscribed to the powers of the primary court to adjudicate on the matter before flying to the appellate court.
He, therefore, asked the court to decline Oye’s application and continue the hearing.
The Judge, thereafter, reserved ruling on the issue of jurisdiction till today, June 2.
In his judgement, Justice Madugu ruled that the court has the jurisdiction and that the show must go on.
As the matter was about to proceed, the lawyer holding brief for Ikpeazu, the lead counsel to Victor Oye, rose and applies for adjournment as the lead counsel was not in court.
Ajara opposed and the court declined the request.
Oye’s counsel then told the court that the tenure of Edozie Njoku, the Supreme Court-affirmed authentic chairman is expired as the Owerri Convention, held on May 31, 2009, that produced him was held four years ago.
He also posited that APGA was not joined in the suit, hence, asked the court to dismiss the suit.
Ogidan’s counsel objected and urged the court to discountenance Oye’s argument.
He stressed that the tenure commenced from the moment Chief Njoku and other members of his National Working Committee (NWC) took oath of office and not from the moment of the Owerri Convention.
Ajara regretted that that is yet to happen as Victor Oye and his cohorts have done virtually everything possible to scuttle the process, leaving the APGA leadership in tatters.
He insisted that the court has the jurisdiction and explained that APGA is not party to the suit because ever since the Supreme Court corrected its judgement and deleted Oye’s name, he has ceased to enjoy any right or privilege from the suit.
According to him, the decision of the Supreme Court is meant to be final and not to be relitigated and that the preliminary objection should be dismissed.
He noted that the Supreme Court deleted Victor Oye’s name “with anger” and substituted it with Njoku’s, adding that all arguments before court were adjudicated at the apex court.
Ajara concluded by saying that the suit is not academic exercise as claimed by Oye’s counsel, rather, that the issues are germane, and urged the court to pass its verdict.
Oye’s counsel insisted that the claimant was elected on May 31, 2009, and that no oath of office needed to be administered for the tenure to expire.
The judge reserved his judgement till next week and assured the litigants that the date will be communicated to them.
Meanwhile, a member of APGA, who was at the court, told News Band that Victor Oye may be committed to prison over contempt of court.
He pointed out that Oye reportedly held a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in clear defiance of the Federal High Court order that barred him from doing so.
The Court had ordered Oye to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
It also declared any congress and/or convention held by the former APGA chairman as illegal.
A source told this medium that Oye was goaded on by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charlse Soludo, who emerged as the candidate of the party during the state gubernatorial election held in November 2021, from the illegal faction of Victor Oye.
The source further claimed that Governor Soludo influenced the Independent National Electoral Commisssion (INEC) from recognising Chief Njoku as the authentic APGA chairman. Read more.