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INEC, Okorie differ over Supreme Court ruling on APGA leadership crisis

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
28 June 2022   |   2:40 am
Founding chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey a judgment of the Supreme Court by recognising

[FILES] INEC. Photo; FACBOOK/INECNIGERIA

Founding chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey a judgment of the Supreme Court by recognising Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic chairman of the party.

Okorie, who emerged as the party’s presidential candidate at the primary organised by the Njoku-led National Working Committee, was surprised that INEC was yet to recognise Njoku as chairman, despite a Supreme Court ruling sacking Victor Oye.

Both Oye and Njoku have been laying claims to the leadership of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Speaking during a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, Okorie said the Supreme Court had, in its 2021 ruling on the matter, misplaced Njoku’s name with that of Oye.

He said following a letter addressed to Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court, the error has been corrected, thus making Njoku APGA’s authentic national chairman.

Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and Anambra State governor, Chukwuma Soludo, to intervene, Okorie said: “INEC is advertently or inadvertently arming other rival political parties with weapons to challenge APGA’s victories in the 2023 general elections on the ground of invalid nomination process. INEC should avoid being accused of aiding and abetting the extinction of APGA.”

BUT when contacted, INEC’s National Electoral Commissioner (Information and Voter Education), Festus Okoye, told The Guardian that the commission would not trade words with anyone, urging any party that is not satisfied with the commission’s action to file contempt proceedings.

He said: “If a court order has been served on the commission and the commission willingly refuses to obey the judgment, what the judgment creditor ought to do is file contempt proceedings against the commission.”

“So, if they believe they have a judgment that has been served on the commission and we have refused to obey it, they should file contempt proceedings against the commission.”

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