By Marcus Ikechukwu
The Supreme Court on Thursday cleared air on the raging altercation and misconception of its judgment in respect of the leadership crisis that has engulfed the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The apex Court maintained that it’s pronouncement on October 14, 2021, was between one Chief Jude Okeke and APGA with three other respondents.
The uno numero court in Nigeria categorically said one Chief Edozie Njoku was never a party in the proceedings that led to the judgment.
Dr Akande Festus, Director of Press and Information, Supreme Court of Nigeria, in a statement, said that one Chief Edozie Njoku who sought to be joined in the appeal was not joined and therefore not a party to the final judgment that resolved the leadership crisis.
Akande cautioned that any judgment order containing parties different from the ones on record did not emanate from the Supreme Court and therefore should be disregarded.
“Our attention has been drawn to the misconception being peddled by some members of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) regarding the judgment of the Supreme Court in Appeal Number: SC/CV/687/2021: Chief Jude Okeke Versus ALL PROGRESSIVES GRAND ALLIANCE (APGA) & 3 ORS, delivered on 14th October, 2021, which is causing confusion within the party fold; and by extension, the public space.
“To keep the record straight, we wish to state that the appeal in respect of party leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which was filed in the Supreme Court against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Kano Division by Chief Jude Okeke, as SC/CV/686/2021 and SC/CV/687/2021, contained the following parties: Chief Jude Okeke (Appellant) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Ike Oye; Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliu; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 4th respondents respectfully.
“It is worthy of note that the appeal arose from a Primary Election conducted by the party on the 31st day of May, 2019 at Owerri, Imo State, in which the 3rd Respondent (Rabiu Garba Aliu) was elected Deputy National Chairman (North).
“The said 3rd respondent (Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliyu), by Originating Summons, commenced an action claiming among other reliefs, to be automatically recognized as the Chairman of the Party on the ground that the Chairman who was then suspended had been replaced by someone other than him.
“The trial Court dismissed the suit and confirmed Chief Jude Okeke as the Party’s Chairman.
“However, the 3rd respondent, unsatisfied with the judgment, appealed to the Court of Appeal, Kano Judicial Division.
“At that point, the 1st and 2nd respondents (APGA and Victor Ike Oye) sought for and were granted leave to be joined as interested parties at the Court of Appeal.
“However, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction as all the issues in contention took place in Imo State and not Jigawa State.
“Being unsatisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Chief Jude Okeke appealed to the Supreme Court against the aforementioned parties.
“It was at this stage that Chief Edozie Njoku brought an application to be joined as interested party in the matter.
“However, on the date of the hearing, the whole appeal was dismissed and all the motions for joinder were struck out, having been overtaken by events.
“That decision was based on the premise that such action had been severally adjudged to be unjusticeable by virtue of the varied subsisting Supreme Court judgments in respect of intra-party disputes.
In view of the foregoing, the Supreme Court spokesperson made it abundantly clear that the judgment of the apex court contained only the parties listed above; and that Chief Edozie Njoku was not added as a party at any point.
“Thus, any judgment order containing parties different from the aforementioned did not emanate from the Supreme Court and should therefore be disregarded” Akande stated.
According to the statement by Dr. Akande, the Supreme Court judgement emanated from the Owerri convention held on May 31, 2021.
Elendureportsonline.com notes that at the Owerri convention Edozie Njoku was elected chairman while Victor Oye did not participate but rather held a parallel convention in Awka on the same day.
The Awka convention was held in defiance of a court order restraining Victor Oye and his cohorts from holding the Awka convention.