Appeal Court sacks Ejidike, reinstates Ibe as Anambra APC chair
Court of Appeal in Enugu has sacked suspended Chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Basil Ejidike, and reinstated his predecessor, Emeka Ibe as party chairman.
The judgment coincided with Ejidike’s inauguration of Disciplinary Committee set up to try Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and Managing Director of the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu.
Ejidike, who was Acting Chairman of the party, was suspended by aggrieved members last Sunday, even as Secretary of the party, Chuks Agupugo and another chieftain of the party, Uchenna Okonkwo-Okom, appealed to Ngige and other stakeholders to intervene and rescue the party.
The Guardian learnt that Agupugo, was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the party’s affairs, prior to the Court of Appeal judgment and pending the installation of a substantive chairman.
Confirming Ibe’s reinstatement as the Chairman of APC in the state, APC Spokesman in the state, Okelo Madukaife, said the appellate court set aside the judgment of the High Court in Awka, which sacked Ibe in 2020.
The appeal succeeded on ground that the Federal High Court Awka lacked jurisdiction on the matter even after an objection was raised during the trial in court, but was overruled.
“The Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, decided an appeal activated by the elected chairman of the 2018 congresses, Emeka Ibe, in favour of the appellant.
“The implication of the judgment is that the December 2019 High Court judgment in Awka, has been set aside and Ibe has been restored as substantive chairman of the APC in Anambra State.
“I have also in consultation with Agupugo, who currently coordinates the working committee, taken some firm steps to assist in the transition process,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Okonkwo-Okom, who is a former member of the state’s House of Assembly member and Agupugo have applauded the judgment, describing it as “a welcome development.”
Okonkwo-Okom accused Ejidike, who is from Anambra Central Senatorial Zone of manipulating his way to hijack leadership from Ibe, who is from Anambra South Senatorial zone, saying he ought to have been replaced by a successor from his zone.
Agupugo supported the idea of the investigative panel set up to probe Ejidike in line with the position of the State Working Committee (SWC) that resolved that the he (Ejidike) should step aside.
Speaking in company of some members of the SWC, Agupugo hinted that in the interim, a five-man Investigation Committee had been set up to review the issues and report its findings to the party.