Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati of the Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned ruling to March 13, 2014 in the All Progressives Grand Alliance former National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and Secretary Alhaji Sani Shinkafi’s application for stay of execution of the judgment that removed them from office. The ruling was earlier slated for 26th February.
Umeh and Shinkafi approached the Court through their lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto SAN on 15th January 2014, seeking a stay of execution and an injunction restraining Chief Maxi Okwu and all the officers elected with him at the party’s national convention on 8th April 2013, at Awka, Anambra State from assuming their respective offices pending the determination of their appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Ikwueto urged the Court presided by Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati to grant the application stating that a person who lost a litigation is entitled to approach the Court to make a preservative order. He urged the Court to grant an order maintaining status quo pending the determination of the appeal already filed.
Ikwueto argued that the Court of Appeal had earlier declared Umeh the party chairman, adding that the high court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter. In his judgment delivered on 15th January, Justice Abdul-Kafarati stated:
“I took pains to read the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division in Appeal No: CA/E/84/2013 delivered on 15th July, 2013 between Chief Victor Umeh Vs Ichie Okuli Jude Ejike annexed to the 3rd defendant’s counter affidavit as exhibit I.
“In that judgment the Court of Appeal did not confer any right or benefit on Victor Umeh. What the Court of Appeal decided was that Respondent (as plaintiff in the lower Court) did not have the locus standi to institute this action. In that case the Respondent was a mere member of APGA and not a member of any organ of the party and was not also a contestant for the post of Chairman.”
Oba Maduabuchi lawyer for Maxi Okwu and all the officers elected with him opposed the application for stay of execution of the judgment and an injunction restraining the Okwu leadership from running the affairs of the party.
Maduabuchi urged the Court to strike out the application. He averred that the Court could not give judgment on one hand and collect it back with another hand, stating that the applicants (Umeh and Shinkafi) have not shown any special circumstance that would warrant the court to grant stay of execution.
Maduabuchi urged the Court to strike out the application emphasizing that the court had found that Umeh and Shinkafi were wrong to have occupied the positions of National Chairman and Secretary and would not allow illegality because they appealed the judgment that sacked them. Olawale Daudu who represented INEC supported the application.
Victor Chigozie Eneh
Senior Special Assistant Media to Chief Maxi Okwu,
National Chairman, APGA