A Court of Appeal sitting in Kanohas declared Victor Oye as the national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The development comes amid the crisis rocking the party, which led to two factions producing candidates for the Anambra governorship election coming up in November.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, had earlier said that the judge of a High Court in Jigawa State, Miss Ubale, delivered judgment in a suit, upholding the suspension of Victor Oye and affirming Jude Okeke as the party’s national chairman on June 30, 2021.
Okoye also cited another court order in which Bello Kawu, a judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Kubwa, on June 28, ordered INEC to monitor the primary election of the Jude Okeke faction and comply with the result
Although, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, who belongs to the Oye-led faction of APGA had secured 740 votes to defeat other candidates in the party’s primary election, INEC published the name of Michael Umeoji (candidate of Okeke’s faction) as APGA’s standard bearer in the governorship election.
In the judgment delivered on Tuesday, the appellate court judges unanimously disagreed with the lower court which ordered INEC to recognise Okeke’s faction.
The appeal court held that the lower court in Jigawa State had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the case in the first place.
Reacting, Oye in a statement by the APGA National Publicity Secretary, Tex Okechukwu, asked INEC to immediately recognise Soludo as the APGA candidate for the Anambra governorship election.
“The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has praised the judiciary for standing firm in defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its statutes.
“Reacting to the unanimous judgement delivered by the three Justices of the Appeal Court, Kano Judicial Division today, the National Chairman of the party, Ozonkpu Victor Ike Oye, through the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Barrister Tex Okechukwu, described the judgement as a watershed in Nigeria’s political life.
“He praised the Justices that sat over the case for their courage, uprightness and commitment to the promotion of justice, equity and fairness.
“Ozonkpu Oye said that the judgement had renewed the hope of the people of the country in the judiciary and appealed to the National Judicial Commission and the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to ensure that any judge or lawyer found guilty of professional misconduct was brought to justice.
“He used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do the needful without further delay by publishing the name of Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo as the rightful candidate of APGA for the November 6 Anambra State Governorship Election,” the statement read.