APC congress: Lokpobiri faction cancels parallel primary over subsisting litigations

The faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter, led by former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has cancelled its allegedly planned parallel state congress over a subsisting injunction before a Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

It would be recalled that two separate notices filed before the Court of Appeal have prevented a Bayelsa State High Court in Yenagoa presided over by Justice Iniekenimi Uzaka from proceeding with the hearing in a suit before the court stopping the APC from conducting its ward congresses in the state.

Uzaka had on July 31, the eve of the ward congresses, granted an interlocutory injunction following a motion filed by some aggrieved members of the APC in the state who sought the order of the court to halt the exercise.

He eventually adjourned the case to August 9 for continuation but when proceedings commenced, counsel to the APC, Shuaibu Aruwa informed the Judge that there were two separate notices before the appellate court seeking orders to direct the lower court to stay execution on its interlocutory order.

However, the appellate court had fixed 19th October, 2021 for hearing on the two separate notices filed by the both factions of the APC.

When Tribune Online visited the secretariat of the Senator Lokpobiri-led faction along the Isaac Boro Expressway in Yenagoa, the venue is deserted.

When contacted for comment, the State Chairman of the Senator Lokpobiri-led faction, Fala Itubo, said “how can we conduct congresses when there is a subsisting court injunction? You remember what happened in River State? We don’t want to make that same mistake.

“As for the reconciliation committee set up by our party leadership at the national level, whatever they want to do must not be about the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and Senator Lokpobiri alone but should involve all stakeholders of the party. I wish to appeal to all party faithfuls to remain calm.”

When contacted also, a Chairmanship candidate in the Lokpobiri-led camp, Chief Peres Peretu, said “we met and thought it wise not to go ahead of the congresses because of the subsisting injunction. For all I know, the other party is disobeying court order.”

Also, a chieftain of the party, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, explained that “when we appeared in court, council to the other faction claimed that they have not conducted any Ward or Local Government congresses. So, if they have not done so, where did they get the delegates voting at the state congress they are conducting?

“We have evidence of that brief their council made those claims. And the appeal court has asked both parties to return to return to court on the 19th October, 2021 for hearing. For that reason, we have decided to put off the congresses.

“I appeal to all our members of our party to remain calm until the court gives its ruling. As for the reconciliation committee, we are not willing to withdraw our case in court until the right thing is done. So no reconciliation committee can compel us to withdraw our case.”

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