Despite the many odds including two opposing factions and several confusing litigations seemingly standing against it, the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will go on with the members’ revalidation and registration exercise billed for Monday 25, January 2021 across the various chapters of the party in the country.
Isaac Ogbobula, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party in Rivers State speaking to our correspondent via telephone stated the readiness of the party to go on with the exercise saying there was nothing stopping the party from proceeding with the exercise as scheduled.
“There is no litigation stopping us from going on with the exercise,” he said. We have a judgment of court protecting us and directing us to go on with the exercise. To perform our functions as offers of the party. There is a judgment to that effect, so there’s nothing stopping us from going on with the exercise.”
He explained that the judgment was from an Abuja High Court and not a mere order but a full judgment adding that the issue of revalidation of membership is not a state matter, not a state activity and the national is full charge.
“They appoint the people who do what they do, also do the scheduling. So we wait for their scheduling, their briefing and anything they want to do in respect of that exercise, it’s up to them,” he said.
On the possibility of factional disagreement affecting the exercise, he dismissed it saying that faction only existed in the imagination of the press. “Faction is a creation of the press”, he said.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman explained that the Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of Justice Omereji on which Hon. Igo Aguma was claiming chairmanship of a faction of the party.
The Court of Appeal, according to him held that party has the power to create caretaker committees, appoint and swear them in and they function as a normal exco. “So where is the faction coming from,” Ogbobula queried.
Also speaking, a former member of the House of Representatives and Acting Publicity of the APC, Ogbonna Nwuke said that the National Secretariat of the APC will unfailingly commence the revalidation of its membership in Rivers State in accordance with relevant directives issued to that effect.
He said that members of the party in the state are in high spirits regarding the conduct of the exercise saying “reports being received from across the state indicate that old and intending members will turn out in their units, wards and local government areas to participate in the exercise.”
He added; ‘Our expectation is that the exercise will go on smoothly even though we have learnt that there may be certain persons who are planning to disrupt it.
There are reports that a Port Harcourt High Court may have issued a restraining order. As a person, I have not physically cited the said order.
He confirmed that despite attempts to scuttle the exercise in Rivers State, the party has obtained a judgment in an Abuja High Court, which cleared the path for teeming members of the party to take part in the revalidation exercise.
Nwuke explained; “If there is an injunction in Port Harcourt restraining the APC from going ahead, pending the determination of the matter, the Court in Abuja where the National Secretariat operates has delivered a comprehensive judgment.
Both courts are courts of coordinate jurisdiction, but it would seem that the Abuja court ruled before its counterpart in Port Harcourt.
The issue of whether a subsisting judgment by a duly constituted court in Abuja should prevail, or if an injunction delivered by a court in Port Harcourt, restraining a party or parties from going ahead with their legitimate pursuit should subsist in this instance, is better left for the courts and lawyers to decide. I am not a lawyer as you know.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a chieftain of the party corroborated the earlier statements saying that what people term to be internal wrangling within the Rivers State Chapter of APC is a thing of the past when the National Body dissolved all other existing factions of the party and inaugurated one single state exco under the leadership of Barr. Isaac Ogbobula so any other person claiming the leadership of the party is not only a pretender but a joker.
“Besides the above, Igo Aguma false leadership of the party was duly dissolved by the Court so both within the Law and party hierarchy Abe and his Team of Clowns are not known,” he added.
On whether there was any court injunction against the exercise Chief Eze said; “Following the Federal High Court Judgement ordering Rivers APC to go ahead with her scheduled membership registration/Revalidation exercise and also baring anyone from stopping the Revalidation and registration of party members in Rivers state, we have no issue why the exercise shouldn’t hold.”
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