By Edith Nwapi
Abuja – The Appeal Court in Abuja, on Wednesday fixed July 16 to hear an appeal filed by former Rivers All Progressives (APC) Chairman Caretaker Committee, Isaac Ogbobula.
A three-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Stephen Adah, fixed the date for hearing in the substantive suit after the court dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the Acting Chairman of the Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC), Igo Aguma.
Delivering a ruling, the Court of Appeal dismissed the objection on the grounds that the argument of the first respondent was misconceived and therefore liable to dismissal.
Adah held further that the appellant’s application complied with the rule of the Appeal Court.
“The application for preliminary objection was a complete waste of court’s time and abuse of the court process.
” It was a disgraceful act that ought not to be at the Court of Appeal” Adah held.
He then fixed the date for hearing of the substantive appeal to July 16.
Ogbobula had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment of Rivers High Court which nullified his Caretaker Committee and affirmed Igo Aguma as the authentic acting chairman of the APC in the state.
Aguma, APC and former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole are the first, second and third respondents.
Justice George Omereji of a Rivers High Court had on June 9 declared Aguma as the acting chairman of the party in the state.
The court also compelled the party to allow all members of the party loyal to Sen. Magnus Abe to participate in the new congresses.
The court voided the Caretaker Committee appointed by the now dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in 2018.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Ogbobula went to the appellate court, praying the court to set aside Omereji’s judgment and restore him as the authentic APC chairman in the state.
Earlier, counsel to Aguma, the first respondent, Mr Emeka Etiaba ,SAN raised a preliminary objection, arguing that the appellant did not comply with the rule of the court in compiling and transmitting record to the Appeal Court.
Etiaba further argued that it was near impossible for a court to have delivered a judgment on Thursday and the record filed and transmitted to Court of Appeal in Abuja the following day.
He said further that the Appeal Court cannot depart from its own rule to give vent to non proper filing and regularisation of application, especially when it was not yet time to file.
He said the appellant put “the horse before the cart” in transmitting record to Appeal Court in that as when the application was filed the record had not been properly compiled.
Etiaba also raised the issue of non proper service on one of the respondents.
The appellant’s counsel, Mr Tuduru Ede ,SAN , argued that the court can set aside and depart from its own rules when the need arises to regularise a process.
Tuduru argued also that the court has the power to deem an application properly filed and start running from the time.”
“I hold this hounourable court has the power to grant prayers we are seeking,” Tuduru said.