...As APC Kicks, Says It’ll Appeal Judgement
A Port-Harcourt High Court has held that Hon. Igo Aguma should be the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Hon. Aguma, a former member of the House of Representatives, was declared as the chairman of caretaker committee of the party in a judgement delivered on Tuesday, June 9 by Honourable Justice George Omereji.
In an interview with newsmen after the judgement, counsel to the claimant, Echezona Etiaba, SAN, said that the judgement was victory for democracy.
He said as much as political parties were allowed to handle internal affairs, they were not allowed to take actions contrary to their party constitution.
He said that the court's judgement would fortify the constitution of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
Talking on the judgement, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said: “The judgement today is simple that the Caretaker Committee of the party set up last year is null and void (and) ultra vires of the constitution and that the claimant, Hon. Igo Aguma, is the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party from today with other statutory members of the party, and in fact they ought not to have constituted that caretaker committee because there was already a caretaker committee of the party based on the fact that they have about 27 members who are statutory members of the party before now.”
But a lawyer to the All Progressives Congress, Chief Emenike Ebete, told newsmen they would appeal against the judgement.
Speaking in an interview, Chief Ebete said that they would go to the appellate court to test what qualified Hon. Igo Aguma to become caretaker chairman of the party in the state.
Chief Ebete said: “We had canvassed that he had not shown any right far and above all the members of the statutory committee who are over 50. We have Senators, we have House of Representatives members, we have former governors (and) ministers (serving), so what qualifies him to be the chairman? That is one issue that we have to test.
“Another point is that the court held that the tenure of the caretaker committee elapsed in September 2019 and for the party not to have renewed the tenure of that caretaker committee was a fatal mistake on the part of the party. Then we asked when what was in court was the issue of legality of the caretaker committee, why would you go and extend the tenure? Was it (the court) inviting the party to go into self-help? The party merely respected the court because the matter was before the court. The party did not do any of those congresses.
“The party did not extend anything (but was) awaiting the court's decision only for the court to turn around to say that they ought to have extended the tenure when the matter was before the court. So we will go to appellate court to see whether the court can read into the constitution of the party what is not there.”
On the matter brought by Dele Moses and nine others, the court held that only those who bought nomination form for ward congress could contest in ward congress to be organized by the party.