Court upholds Okwu, Okoye as APGA chairmen

By The Rainbow

An Awka High Court in Anambra State upheld the party's national convention in Awka last month, which produced Mr. Maxi Okwu as national chairman and Egwuoyibo Okoye as state chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The court , presided by Justice Hope O. Ozor, on Monday upheld the wards and state congresses conducted across the state on April 6 and validated the election of Okwu as the party's national chairman.

The suit was filed vide originating summons by one Michael Joe Onwudinjo against APGA, Okwu and Okoye.

The plaintiff, Onwudinjo, who contested for APGA national vice chairman and lost, had gone to  court to challenge the validity of the April 8 national convention.

He contended before the court that  he was shortchanged and made to suffer irreparable loss following the change of venue of the convention from Enugu to Awka without proper notice.

However, the defendants, Okwu and Okoye, through their lawyers canvassed for  a declaration of the court that the congresses and convention at which they were elected as officers of APGA, were valid and subsisting.

They posited that the congresses were conducted in line with the enabling laws and were supervised by officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

After reviewing both parties' submissions, Justice Ozor failed to see any merit in the case of the plaintiff.

He therefore dismissed the case for lack of merit, but held that the APGA National Convention of April 8 and the wards and state congresses conducted in Awka were valid, having been conducted in accordance with the law.

Neither the plaintiff nor his representative was in court.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the defendant said the plaintiff's prayer to the court to nullify the convention on grounds that he was deceived by the National Planning Committee of the party by shifting the earlier scheduled venue of the convention from Enugu to Awka was baseless.

In his reaction, counsel to APGA and Victor Umeh, who is another leader of the party as ruled by the Appeal Court, said they were not allowed to be heard and that the judgment was a product of collusion between the defendant and the plaintiff and cannot stand in the face of the Appeal court ruling of February 8.

However, counsel for Akunwata Mike Kwentoh and Williams Obiorah, who also contested for the state chairman and secretary positions, said they would appeal the judgment.