The attention of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Abia state chapter has been drawn to rumors making the rounds and orchestrated by the agents of the the government in power to the effect an Abia state High court has ordered the removal of the executive leadership of the party at all levels, and announced one Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu as the state chairman of the party.
There is no truth in the rumors and should be ignored. APGA as a responsible plitical party will abide by all court orders judicially and judiciously delivered but will fight to the end any attempt to use the judiciary to destabilize our party.
It is a known fact that a court cannot grant what was not before it. The Motion by Ukaegbu deals with 2015 matters which have gone. We have gone through the court papers with our lawyers and we are convinced that removal of the state chairman was not one of the reliefs before the court.
The state chairman, Ehiemere was not a party to the suit. So cannot be removed through interlocutory order.
Having said that, it will be important to educate the public with information at our disposal.
Sometime in July this year we received intelligence information from a source close to the government of Abia State, that a meeting was held with some judicial officers , and a high ranking commissioner in Abia State , to procure an injunction against our party with a view of truncating our primaries and causing confusion in the party.
We did not believe that such but refused to take chances. We asked our lawyers to be vigilant.
It would be recalled that in 2014, the former State Chairman, Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu filed suit No. HOB/47/2014 at the High Court of Abia State sitting at Obingwa seeking to set aside his suspension as the State Chairman of APGA and as a member of our party. This case went up to the court of Appeal and was referred back to Abia Judiciary, but not without the court of Appeal finding that the parties were not served.
When in August 2018, this case was transferred before the vacation judge and a well known PDP lawyer filed for change of counsel , we knew that something was amiss. The trial judge, Justice Okoroafor demonstrated undisguised hostility and bias against our counsel and our cause; he had descended into the arena by giving ideas to the claimant on how to speedily procure the injunction; he had granted needless indulgences for the claimant’ counsel including ridiculously standing down proceedings for several hours, allowing him to go to his office to print processes and return to court to be heard same day while refusing adjournment when our counsel was manifestly sick and pleaded in this regard; compelling our counsel to reply to applications served him in court orally and instantly when the rules of court provide for 7days.
On 20th September 2018, processes were served on our lawyer in court and he requested for time as provided by the Rules to reply but the Judge refused his application for time and insisted that he must reply orally immediately contrary to the provisions of the Rules and our right to fair hearing. Our counsel complained of ill health and lack of adequate time to prepare our case and that in the circumstances he sought permission of the court to withdraw. The Judge granted the application but refused our request for few days adjournment to engage another counsel after our counsel was forced to withdraw by the bizarre proceedings of the judge.
Clearly, the above flagrantly violate all known rules of procedure as well as the constitution of Nigeria which the judge was appointed to uphold and are altogether unjust. Yet, the judge had stridently orchestrated these awful acts so that he could speedily grant the injunction unjustly in order to fulfill the promise corruptly made to his political allies; nothing else could have motivated him in issuing an injunction expected to take effect on a person that was never a party to a suit. It took Justice Okoroafor less than 3 weeks to conclude sittings on this matter. He on two occasions stood down the case, for Ukaegbu’s lawyer to go to Aba and come back.
APGA Abia state considers this latest plot to destroy APGA by Abia state government as another exercise in futility and thus states as follows:
1. That the willing tool, Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu, through whom the frivolous suit was filed against APGA ceased to be the chairman of APGA Abia state since 2015 following the expiration of his tenure.
2. That before his tenure expired, he was suspended in 2014 for anti party activities that were aimed at ensuring that APGA didn’t participate in the 2015 election, and rather than explore internal mechanism of the party to challenge his suspension if he felt aggrieved as provided in APGA constitution, Chief Ukaegbu completely unmasked himself as he resorted to openly endorsing and campaigning for the PDP governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Okezie Ikpeazu.This is not only an affront on APGA, but highly irresponsible.
3. That when his tenure expired while still on suspension, the party constitutionally did her Congresses during which new executive members were elected at all levels. Many of those who served alongside Ukaegbu in the old executive were also elected, while he was busy mischievously dining with the PDP and Abia state government as a lone ranger. He’s a total stranger and cannot be allowed to enter our house through the window. It is on record that he campaigned for PDP during the last elections. This is the character that is seeking a back door chairmanship of the party
3.That the celebration of the ruling and publicity given to it by agents and appointees of Abia state government even before it was delivered, speaks volumes of the suspected connivance between the appellant and the Abia state government.
4.That even though the interlocutory order leaves much to be desired in many respects, we have however swiftly taken the necessary legal steps at a higher court to ensure that it is thrown into judicial trash can at a higher court; that is to say that the APGA leadership in Abia remains intact, functional and focused in carrying out its preelection activities not minding the anti democratic manipulations of our opponents that have been destined to fail woefully.
5. we urge APGAns at all levels, and Abians as a whole not to feel perturbed, but to remain strong and go about their normal businesses without fear, because APGA and her responsible leaders had fought bigger battles and thus would come out of this latest cheap distraction unscratched.
6. Finally, we wish to advice all those judicial officers who have collected money from Abia State government to destabilize APGA that we know of their plans. We are prepared for you and will challenge you to every known quarters.
There is no court judgment removing Ehiemere. When the purported and contrived order is served we shall let the world know.
APGA, Abia State.