INEC’s Purported Interpretation Of Court Of Appeal Judgment Was Patently Wrong And Defies Logic – Says APGA

Posted on July 9, 2024

The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, said that its attention has been drawn to a statement released earlier today by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), where the commission purported to accord recognition to one Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA.

 

In the said statement, the Commission purported to have based its incongruous decision on the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the earlier judgment of an FCT High Court.

 

Reacting to the statement, Mazi Ejimofor Opara KSM, National Publicity Secretary of APGA said, “We wish to state categorically that the Commission’s purported interpretation of the Court of Appeal judgment was patently wrong and defies logic. Firstly, the judgment of the FCT High Court, Bwari Judicial Division never pronounced Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA. The Judgment of the Court of Appeal equally did not. There is no judgment of court that mandated INEC to recognize Edozie Njoku as National Chairman of APGA. There is no evidence anywhere that INEC ever monitored any convention by Edozie Njoku and his co-travelers, and no court ever declared him Chairman of APGA. The INEC in arriving at the bizarre decision claimed to be complying with the judgment of the High Court which was upheld by the Court of Appeal and which sought to enforce the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court as corrected on the 24th of March, 2023. Whereas nowhere in the entire judgment of the Supreme Court did the Court make any pronouncement to the effect that Edozie Njoku was the National Chairman of APGA just like the Just like the High Court and Court of Appeal never did. This fact is further strengthened by the concurring judgment of one of the Justices of the Court of Appeal that sat on the panel who stated clearly that the Supreme Court never pronounced Edozie Njoku as National Chairman. One therefore wonders which judgment INEC was purportedly complying it when they arrived at such reasoning”.

 

“Secondly, Edozie Njoku had sworn to an affidavit that he purportedly won the National Chairmanship position in a non-existent Owerri convention in 2019, which is a 4 year tenure. Assuming without conceding that there was any such thing, the tenure of the National Leadership of APGA, the subject matter of the suit at the lower court has since elapsed in 2023. For the sake of clarity, the suit at the trial Court bothered on the authentic Leadership of APGA between 31st of May, 2019 to 31st of May, 2023. It is common knowledge that APGA has since conducted its National Convention that ushered in the current set of National Officers under the leadership of Barrister Sly Ezeokenwa.”

 

“Again, there is no subsisting judgment of court which pronounced Edozie Njoku as National Chairman of APGA. The only place that the name Edozie Njoku ever showed up was when one Jude Okeke went to a high court in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State alleging to be the National Chairman of APGA after a non-extistent NWC had removed Edozie Njoku. The entire allegation being a concoction and figment of his mischievous imagination were rejected by the Court of Appeal Kano which upheld Victor Oye as the National Chairman of APGA and which judgment was expressly affirmed by the Supreme Court in its judgment.”

 

“Thirdly, the correct interpretation of the Supreme Court corrected judgment has since been laid to rest by the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division coram Hon Justice James Omotosho wherein he held that the Supreme Court never pronounced Edozie Njoku as National Chairman of APGA and that Chief Victor Ike Oye was at all material times, the duly elected National Chairman of APGA at that time. The above pronouncement has since been affirmed by the Court of Appeal. One therefore wonders how the Commission chose to ignore the earlier Court of Appeal judgment on APGA leadership which was upheld by the Supreme Court. This stand of the Commission as expressed in its Statement stands both law and facts on the head and same is hereby rejected by our great party.”

 

“Even more worrisome is the fact that neither the National Chairman, Barrister Sly Ezeokenwa, nor the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was a party to the suit, which led to the Judgment being purportedly enforced. Not even Edozie Njoku himself was a party to this suit under review. How then has the INEC constituted itself a “Father Christmas” by deciding ignorantly by fiat to choose who becomes APGA National Chairman?”

 

“The information reaching our Party was that the Commission was put under immense pressure to take the hasty decision based on the blackmail and threat that a High Court was going to sentence the INEC Chairman to prison for a purported contempt of Court. Hence, the Commission chose to ignore a pending Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution filed by Chief Victor Oye which is yet to be determined by the Court of Appeal and purported to enforce a Judgment which clearly did not pronounce Edozie Njoku Chairman. This is against the admonition of the Supreme Court in a plethora of Judicial authorities that pending Court processes, especially a motion for stay of execution, must be respected so as not foist a situation of helplessness on the Court.”

 

“We wish to state emphatically that Edozie Njoku is NOT the National Chairman of APGA as no Court of law anywhere in the country has pronounced him as such. While we recognise the Constitutional mandate of INEC to regulate the activities of political parties, we however state that such mandate must be exercised within the ambit of the law and not arbitrarily. Certainly, the latest decision of the Commission is a clear illustration of arbitrariness taken too far.”

 

“As a law abiding Party and believers in the sanctity of our judicial system, we have instructed our team of lawyers to challenge this impunity in the law court. I restate that whatever is the issue has no bearing with the extant leadership of APGA. APGA as a Political Party has since moved on from the intractable tussle between Chief Victor Ike Oye and Edozie Njoku and INEC ought not constitute itself as a clog in the wheel of progress that APGA has made under its current leadership.”

 

“For the sake of clarity, Barrister Sly Ezeokenwa remains the duly elected National Chairman of APGA as no Court of law has nullified his chairmanship. The tussle between Oye and Edozie Njoku is in the past and the tenure in issue has expired since over a year ago. It is a big joke that INEC after more than a year of expiration of that 2019-2023 tenure decided to recognise Edozie Njoku as National Chairman of APGA.”

 

“We wish to assure our great party faithfuls and indeed the general public to remain calm as we will surely soar through this latest obstacle. We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission to reverse this obnoxious decision in the interest of justice. APGA should not be made to suffer the greed of selfish and desperate politicians. With God on our side, we will surely overcome. Thanks immensely and God bless you.”

 

 

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