Appeal court restores Oye as APGA’s national chairman
The Court of Appeal in Enugu yesterday restored Victor Oye, as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).Justice A.R Ozoemenam of an Enugu High Court had on May 22 sacked Oye and replaced him with Martin Agbaso.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Abdul Aboki said the lower court erred when it allowed the suit and went ahead to decide on it.In a unanimous decision by the three-man panel, the court ruled that the judge was wrong in granting the reliefs sought by Agbaso and others by pronouncing him as the authentic chairman, when he was not a party to the suit.Other members of the panel include Justice Bolaji Yusuf and Shitta Ibrahim.
The court added that it was a breach of the applicant’s right not to have been joined in the matter, since it concerned him and any decision taken would affect his person and office.
Oye had appealed the ruling, arguing that it was a breach of his fundamental rights since he was neither joined in the matter nor given a fair hearing.He also challenged the jurisdiction of the lower court in entertaining the case and asked the Court of Appeal to nullify the ruling and restore him as the authentic chairman of the party.
He said: “It is a trite in law that when a party is not joined in a suit concerning him, every outcome relating to that matter is a nullity. It was proved that the party here was not joined in the matter and I hereby resolve this issue in his favour.”
“This appeal has merit and is hereby allowed. The judgment of A.R Ozoemenam issued on May 22, 2017 is hereby set aside. Victor Oye remains the national chairman of APGA and should function in that capacity.”
Reacting to the judgment, Oye’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba said: “The implication is that Oye remains the national chairman of APGA and the only man who can function as the head of the party’s affairs.
“It is only he and Labaran Maku that can submit the names of the governorship candidate in the upcoming November 18 governorship election. The court in its wisdom looked at the two issues and resolved it on the side of the appellant.
“So all the troubles that the matter was foisted, not just on APGA but the country’s democracy, has been doused. We thank the court of appeal because each time issues like this arise, the court has always come to the rescue.”
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