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Chekwas condemns “vicious machination”, “travesty of justice” trailing APGA leadership tussle

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The founder and pioneer National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has condemned what he referred to as a “vicious machination” trailing the party’s leadership dispute.

Chief Okorie made the remarks in a press release issued on Friday entitled “APGA leadership dispute: vicious machination at its worst” following the hearing on a suit filed against the National Chairman, Chief Edozie Njoku, and Njoku and Comrade Chukwuemeka Nwoga on allegation of forging Supreme Court judgment.

The former APGA National Chairman ‘compellingly’ drew the attention of the security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the general public to the dangerous dimension the All Progressives Grand Alliance leadership dispute between the National Chairman, Chief Edozie Njoku and Chief Victor Oye has assumed.

According to him, ‘what transpired at the resumption of hearing of the trial of Chief Njoku and Comrade Nwoga is absurd, scarring and an orchestrated plot to put Njoku out of circulation for the second time’.

He recalled that it was Victor Oye that caused a petition to be written to the Inspector General of Police alleging that Njoku forged a corrected judgment of the Supreme Court which deleted his name and replaced it with Njoku’s as the party’s National Chairman whose purported removal by a Jigawa High Court was not justiciable.

National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Edozie Njoku, at the Supreme Court, March 24, 2023
National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Edozie Njoku, at the Supreme Court, March 24, 2023

He said: “Curiously, the police in their investigation did not interview or obtain clarification from Hon. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili (retired) who made the correction of the slip in the earlier judgment with the full consent of her colleagues on the panel that heard the matter.

“The police for whatever reasons best known to them side stepped this fundamental procedure in investigation, but proceeded with dispatch to charge Chief Edozie Njoku and Comrade Chukwuemeka Nwoga to court for a crime they didn’t commit.

“These victims of obvious travesty of justice, upon their first appearance in court, were remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre at the behest of the police.

“After two days of undeserved incarceration and mental torture they were released on bail.

“On the 24th March, 2023, the Supreme Court in a well considered further judgment following an application by Chief Edozie Njoku under Order 8, Rule 16 of the Supreme Court, affirmed in very clear and unambiguous terms that Chief Edozie Njoku is the National Chairman of APGA whose purported removal by a Jigawa High Court was unjusticiable.

“This landmark judgment was duly served on all parties in the suit including Chief Victor Oye and INEC by the bailiff of the Supreme Court and an enrolled order to enable the enforcement of the judgment was also served on INEC.

Former National Chairman of APGA, Ozo Victor Oye
Ex-national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ozo Victor Ike Oye

“Surprisingly, INEC has remained aloof and indeed, recalcitrant by refusing to accord recognition to Chief Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA.

“On Monday 17th April, 2023, the FCT High Court at Bwari resumed hearing of the criminal suit filed by the police against Chief Edozie Njoku.

“Every Nigerian with sense of justice would have expected the police to discontinue the prosecution since the Supreme Court that effected the corrected judgment which was the subject of litigation at the Bwari court has in its judgment of 24th March, 2023, reaffirmed its correction.

“Instead, the police prosecutor, Mr Rinamsomte Ezekiel withdrew all the witnesses who are staff and officers of the Supreme Court who he earlier listed to appear in court to bear witness to the purported forgery.

“He proceeded to lead in evidence one Godwin Odu who claimed to be the Deputy National Secretary of APGA, who wrote the petition that prompted the police to charge Chief Edozie Njoku and Comrade Chukwuemeka Nwoga to court.

“In the course of hearing before the presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Madugu, the police prosecutor right on the floor of the court after close of hearing, alleged that Chief Edozie Njoku threatened to kill him when two of them met at the premises of the court.

“He made other spurious and unimaginable allegations against Chief Edozie Njoku, completely outside the subject matter that brought the parties to court.

“Unknown to Chief Njoku and his supporters who thronged the court, Mr Ezekiel had mobilized the police to arrest Chief Edozie Njoku on these trumped up charges.

Chief Njoku indeed, was invited to the Bwari Police Station where the same complainant, Ezekiel unashamedly dropped his spurious and malicious allegations against Chief Njoku.

“The matter ended there and then without demanding any statement from Chief Njoku.

“This was the second plot to put Chief Njoku out of circulation.

“As if this was not enough mischief, some thugs who presented themselves as supporters of Chief Victor Oye emerged from nowhere carrying various placards on which Chief Edozie Njoku was called unprintable names and highly derogatory songs chanted against him.

“All these intrigues were meant to break the will and spirit of Chief Edozie Njoku,” he regretted.

Chief Okorie, therefore, called on all civil rights organizations in Nigeria, the police authorities, the Nigerian Judicial Council, the Nigerian Bar Association, the Media and all well-meaning Nigerians to weigh into this matter before it degenerates beyond control.” Read more.

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