APGA on fresh path of crisis
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) may have returned to the path of war as an Enugu High Court presided over by Justice A.R Ozoemena yesterday ordered the removal of its national chairman, Victor Oye from office and replaced him with Chief Martin Agbaso. But Oye said yesterday that he remains the national chairman of the party, describing the order as ‘miscarriage of justice.”
In a ruling reminiscent of what has become a common feature in the APGA, the judge asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop further dealing with Oye and that his removal since last year was in order.
The action of the court followed a suit by the secretary of the party in Enugu State, Comrade Mike Alioke, who challenged the continued stay in office Oye after the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party affirmed his suspension on October 5th, last year.
He asked for the order of mandamus compelling the INEC to stop further recognition of Oye based on the suspension as well as ensure that the non-recognition was sustained.
He also asked that the decision of NWC should be upheld by INEC by allowing Agboso who was recognized by the NWC authority, to function as the acting National Chairman of the party. Justice Ozoemena granted the three reliefs sought.
Oye however dismissed the order as “miscarriage of justice and abuse of court process.” He asked, “How could a judge issue such an order when we were not notified of the existence of the suit ab initio? The next thing we heard was a judgment. We are studying the judgment and will react appropriately. But know this: the order will not stand and whoever is involved in this charade will face the full weight of justice. I remain the national chairman of APGA.”
National Vice-Chairman of the party (Southeast), Chief Okechukwu Nkoloagu, who is a member of the NWC said the party has welcomed the decision of the court as “laudable,” stressing that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man.
“Oye’s administration is gone and APGA will be re-engineered to play the leading role expected of it in the polity and by her founding fathers. Whatever has happened in court will not affect the Anambra election because it is an internal matter of the party. It will also not affect the chances of the party in the election. What is important is having a formidable party which Oye has denied the party for sometime,” he added.
It would be recalled that former National Vice Chairman of the party, Chief Nwabueze Okafor, died while pursuing the removal of Oye at the federal high court Abuja.
The development is part of crisis that has refused to leave APGA since its formation in 2003. Its founding chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie was relieved of his position in similar manner paving the way for Chief Victor Umeh, who though served for eight years, literarily lived in court throughout his tenure.