Court backs pro-Obaseki factional chairman in Edo

A Benin High Court on Friday granded an interim order upholding Anselm Ojezua as the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State.

Ojezua has the support of Governor Godwin Obaseki while the other faction is backed by the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

Ruling on the case with Suit No. B/177OS/19, Justice V.O.A. Oviawe of the Benin High Court 10, on Friday, granted an order of interim injunction directing that “the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State chapter, be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice praying for an order of interlocutory injunction.”

The court thereby adjourned the case to Thursday, 5th of December for hearing and determination of the suit.

The claimants/applicants in the case are Anselm Ojezua Esq.; Kenneth Asekhomhe (Deputy Chairman, APC, Edo State); Dr. Aisosa Amadasun (State Organizing Secretary, APC, Edo State Chapter (for themselves and on behalf of the State Executive Committee, APC, Edo State, save for those who expressly dissent or dissociate themselves).

The defendants in the suit are Col David Imuse (Rtd); Lawrence Okah, (for himself on behalf of the members of the purported State Working Committee of APC, Edo State Chapter who purportedly suspended/removed the 1st plantiff as the Chairman of Edo State chapter of the party and Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu (National Publicity Secretary, APC (For himself and on behalf of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The case came up before Justice Oviawe sitting at Hight Court 10 (Civic Division) Benin City, in Benin Judicial Division on Friday, November 22, in the absence of the parties.

The claimants had sought for “an order of interim injunction directing that the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the Chairmanship of All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State chapter be maintained by the parties pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction and for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make the circumstance of this case.”

After hearing the submissions by Ken E. Mozia Esq., SAN, O. J. Isede Esq. and Y. O. Odiase Esq., who are counsels to the claimants/applicants, the Judge ordered: “I have carefully considered this application, the affidavit evidence before the court and the legal submissions of the applicants, together with the authorities cited and I have come to a determination that this application of an order of interim injunction finds merit.

“I am satisfied that there is a substantial issue to be tried at the hearing. An order of interim injunction which is granted upon an ex-parte application is always granted for a short and limited period depending on the gravity and urgency of the situation, in order to essentially preserve the res or the status quo pending the hearing of an interlocutory application in the same matter. See the cases of 7-up Bottling Company Limited and Ors. Vs Abiola and Sons Nigeria Limited (1995) 3 NWLR (pt. 383) 257. UTB Ltd. & Ors vs. Dolmetsch Pharmacy (Nig) Limited (2007) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1061) 620.”

The judge continued, “In line with the authorities, and being satisfied as to the urgency of this application, and being satisfied as to the urgency of this application, the application is hereby granted as prayed. Accordingly, an order of interim injunction is hereby granted directing that the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State Chapter, be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice praying for an order of interlocutory injunction.”

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