By Favour Goodness
Supporters and friends of former Central Bank bid Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo have been thrown into jubilation over the judgment of the Kano division of Court of Appeal.
Chief Victor Oye and Jude Okeke had been at loggerhead over who between them is the authentic national chairman of the party.
A Jigawa State High Court judgment had earlier favoured Okeke as the chairman of the party, leading Oye and leadership of the party to appeal the matter.
In Tuesday’s ruling, the Court of Appeal, Kano division insisted that the Jigawa court had no jurisdiction over the matter.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Kano nullified the June 30th judgment of Birkin Kudu Division of Jigawa State High Court which erroneously sacked Chief Victor Ike Oye as the APGA National Chairman.
In an unanimously judgment delivered Tuesday this morning, the Appelate court disagreed with the lower court which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Mr. Jude Okeke, its faction of the party and their “purported” gubernatorial candidate Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji.
The judgement clearly leaves Oye’s leadership of the party as authentic, meaning that the primary election it held which threw up Soludo is the recognised one.
Supporters of the former CBN boss had upon receipt of the news of the judgement broken into wild jubilation at the Soludo campaign headquarters in Awka.
The supporters were seen hailing themselves as having finally put Hon Chuma Umeoji where he belonged. They also taunted Umeoji’s supporters.
Meanwhile, a factional governorship candidate, Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji and the Ag. National Chairman of APGA, Chief Jude Okeke have rejected the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Kano which has set aside the judgment of the Jigawa High Court which had earlier declared them as Chairman of Party and and only candidate that emerged from Jude Okeke leadership as authentic.
Comrade Ikechukwu Chukwunyere,
National Publicity Secretary of the party in a statement said that lawyers to Chief Jude Okeke have therefore been instructed to take all necessary steps to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.
According to him, the judgment is just a mere temporary setback which will be set aside by the Supreme Court as quickly and easily as possible.
“The Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji campaign will therefore continue unhindered pending the judgment of the Supreme Court where victory is assured.
“All supporters and party members are therefore urged to remain peaceful and law abiding while maintaining the confidence level as there is nothing that can stop an idea whose time has come,” he said.
He said that the campaign organization insist that from the reports from the legal team, the Special Panel of the Court of Appeal turned law upside down by sitting on appeal over its earlier ruling and setting that ruling aside without consequential justice.
“How could the Panel rule on the 30th of July, 2021 that the matter before it was a pre-election matter thereby struck out the Appeal by Chief Edozie Njoku filed on the 22nd July, 2021 that it was filed out of time and then come today to now rule that the case is no longer a pre-election matter* just to allow Victor Oye’s appeal that was filed on the 30th July, 2021.
“The Supreme Court will gladly remind the Court of Appeal that consistency in its ruling is one of the core pillars of our judicial system and that a Court cannot sit on appeal over itself nor arbitrarily over rule itself.
“The Supreme Court being the highest Court in the land will indeed have an opportunity to do substantial justice and restore the ticket of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji as the APGA Governorship candidate and High Chief Jude Okeke as the National Chairman of the party,” Chukwunyere said.