THE Court of Appeal in Enugu, on Monday, reinstated the ousted national chairman of the crisis ridden All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, even as Chief Maxi Okwu emerged as the national chairman of the party.
While Okwu was elected as the national chairman alongside new executive members of APGA in Awka, Anambra State, in a national convention of the party supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Appeal Court, few hours after the election, granted an order for stay of execution of a High Court judgment, which had sacked Umeh as APGA national chairman two months ago.
It was observed that two other factions of APGA led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Umeh boycotted the convention.
INEC had earlier refused to endorse the request by the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, to hold the national convention, arguing that the APGA constitution vested the powers to convene a national convention only on the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Okwu had, in a letter to the electoral body, dated March 11, 2013, posited that the national convention was in line with Article 22 (1) of the party, which he filed with INEC, arguing that with the dissolution of the Victor Umeh-led NEC by the High Court, the party had no other option but to hold a national convention, where it would elect its new executive.
However, in a unanimous ruling delivered by a three-man panel led by Justice Mr D. Galinge, the court ordered that the parties in the matter should return to the status quo, pending the determination of the main suit.
In a unanimous judgment, the court ordered for a stay of execution of the High Court’s judgment, which restrained Umeh from parading himself as the national chairman of APGA, pending the determination of the appeal before the court.
Reacting, Umeh recalled how he went through all the courts in Nigeria to establish Governor Peter Obi as APGA governor in Nigeria, stating that the governor had, unfortunately, forgotten the processes he and party members went through to establish him as governor in Anambra State.
-------Idowu samuel and Jude Ossai, Enugu
Nigerian Tribune, Tuesday, April 9, 2013