The two contending factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, have clashed over the Tuesday’s decision of the Supreme Court on the crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the party.
The Caretaker Committee of the party headed by Isaac Ogbobula said the judgement threw out the claim of Igo Aguma to the chairmanship of the APC Caretaker Committee describing it as a welcome development.
But Aguma said the Supreme Court’s decision had nothing to do with the chairmanship crisis clarifying that the court at his instance struck out old motions that bordered on pre-election matters.
He explained that the court at the instance of his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba SAN, granted his request to withdraw his earliest appeal to the court on grounds that it had become statute barred being a pre-election matter.
Aguma in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Livingstone Wechie, said Etiaba informed the Court that the Aguma had two motions – a motion on notice seeking a stay of further proceedings at the lower Court filed on July 15, 2020 and the a motion experte seeking to serve the first respondent by means of substituted service.
The statement said: “Emeka Etiaba SAN announced that the two applications had been overtaken by events hence his application to withdraw both applications and they were struck out accordingly by the Supreme Court.
“Thereafter, Etiaba also informed the court that the third respondent Adams Oshiomhole had a preliminary objection challenging his appeal on the grounds that it is a pre-election matter and therefore is statute barred.
“Etiaba informed the court that that being the case, and having considered the state of the law, he is fully persuaded that indeed the appeal is a pre-election matter and the court has ceased to have jurisdiction to handle the appeal and for that reason alone, the court should strike out the matter.
“It was opposed by Tuduru Ede SAN, lawyer for Isaac Ogbobula, who raised the issue that the decision may affect the other appeals before the court as the issue of pre-election is being canvassed therein.
“The court told him that they are treating the appeal currently before them and he should make his arguments in the other appeal and that the reason Etiaba presented is tenable before the court. Moreso he is at liberty to withdraw his appeal. The court subsequently granted the request by Emeka Etiaba to withdraw the Appeal and struck it out”.
But the Spokesman of the party, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, said the APC had been vindicated by the ruling of the Apex Court.
He said: “The truth has come to light. The truth is that Hon Igo Aguma did not have the locus standi to declare himself as chairman. It also demonstrates that the presiding Judge who planted Igo Aguma as chairman of the Caretaker Committee erred in law in reaching that decision.”
Nwuke said that Igo Aguma’s quest for power, relying on the manipulation of the law, had ended as a mere academic exercise
He said: “We have always known that Igo Aguma and his co-travellers were out to waste the time of the court.
“We are glad that the Supreme Court has seen through the antics of the Pro-Abe group and accordingly thrown out the matter.
“The APC National Secretariat acted well within its powers when it appointed the Caretaker Committee headed by Isaac Abot Ogbobula.
“It is now clear to all that the Port Harcourt High Court presided over by Justice George Omereji erred in law when it introduced a meddlesome interloper in the person of Hon. Igo Aguma as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Rivers APC in total disregard of the provisions of the party’s Constitution which bestows that right exclusively on the National Secretariat.
“We hope that Hon. Golden Ben Chioma who is masquerading as a chairman or acting chairman would get the message. He came with Igo Aguma. He should quietly pack up his bags and leave now that the head of the hydra – headed snake has been cut off.
“On the whole, it is a bright new day for the Rivers APC and a positive indication that better days are coming.”