Our attention has been drawn to an interview the All Progressives Grand Alliance former National Secretary Alhaji Sani Shinkafi granted the Daily Independent newspaper published on 13th February 2014, in which he alleged that Governor Rochas Okoroacha of Imo State sponsored the Abuja Federal High Court suit that swept him and erstwhile National Chairman Chief Victor Umeh out of office. Shinkafi further attacked the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Abdulkadir Abdu- Kafarati saying it had a “question mark “and boasted that the former leadership of the party ignored the clear order of court and held what he called a “National Executive Committee meeting” in defiance of the Judgment that sacked him and Umeh. He concluded his hallucination by saying that the authentic National Chairman of the party Chief Maxi Okwu is not a member of APGA but had a meeting with Governor Okoroacha at Government House Owerri, Imo State.
The APGA leadership steered by Chief Okwu would have ignored Shinkafi’s outburst as the figment of his fertile imagination having been sacked from his exalted position of national secretary after eleven years in office. We understand his frustration and desperation to be the permanent national secretary of the party in flagrant violation of APGA constitution that stipulates a renewable tenure of four years for party officers.
We shall not hold brief for Governor Okoroacha as he has enough spokespersons to respond to Shinkafi outburst if they have the time to respond to a drowning man being swept away to political oblivion to wander aimlessly in political wilderness.
Shinkafi should be reminded that a contempt charge has been filed against him and Chief Umeh for disobeying the Abuja Federal High Court order of 15th January 2014, issued by Justice Abudu-Kafarati which upheld Chief Okwu’s leadership of APGA. It is not in the party’s interest to see former officers in jail for ridiculing the nation’s Judiciary. Unfortunately, Shinkafi and Umeh may be jail bound as they continue to bring our highly esteemed Judiciary to disrepute. The Court has fixed February 26 for ruling in their application for stay of execution of the judgment. Yet their utterances and actions after the court of competent jurisdiction had sacked them showed that they don’t have regard for the rule of law and respect for Judicial Officers. No wonder they violated the APGA Constitution with impunity, elongated their stay in office and conducted a charade they called “election by voice vote” instead of secret ballot stipulated in the party constitution. The video tape of their jamboree at Awka which they called “NEC meeting” is part of the exhibits in the contempt charge against them.
The Okwu-led Executive was duly elected at the party’s national convention on 8th April 2013, and effectively monitored by INEC officials. The Awka and Abuja High Courts also upheld his leadership of the party. It is mischievous for any right thinking person to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians by saying that Okwu is not a member of APGA.
Three co- plaintiffs attempted to withdraw from the case which the court dismissed because they filed the suit on behalf of all the national officers elected at the party convention on 8th April 2013, but applied to withdraw from the case without their consent and approval, and failed to obtain leave of court to withdraw after issues had been joined with Umeh, Shinkafi and INEC. This further showed their ignorance of legal procedure. The court held that they are still plaintiffs in the case. Shinkafi should be worried about his contempt charges and appeal of the judgment that sacked him and Umeh.
The former scribe wondered why Governor Okoroacha met with Chief Okwu at Government House Owerri, stating that Okoroacha is not an APGA Governor why meet with Okwu (implying that Okwu is an APGA member). He did not proffer any evidence of the purported meeting held in the figment of his imagination. It is obvious that Shinkafi is confused and naïve.
The Okwu leadership extends an olive branch to all aggrieved members especially those misled by our erstwhile officers to return to the fold in our renewed efforts at building a strong, virile and progressive party that will meet the yearnings of all marginalized people in the country. The Anyi Agaba political train is on its destiny journey to the Promised Land to deliver democracy dividends to our long suffering compatriots. Be part of the mass movement to restore genuine democracy in Nigeria.
Victor Chigozie Eneh
Senior Special Assistant Media
To Chief Maxi Okwu, National Chairman, APGA