Court Sacks Ogboru, Omo-Agege Delta APC Faction
A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, has fired the Prophet Jones Ode Erue-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Delta state, thereby deepening the leadership crises that has rocked the party in the state since last year.
The Nigerian Voice, can authoritatively report that the leadership tussle brought the massive defeat the party suffered in the just concluded governorship election where the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship candidate and incumbent governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, embarrassed the APC candidate, Chief Ovedje Ogboru, to an overwhelming victory.
Affected by the two-hour judgment delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Toyin Adegoke, are the ward and local government executives of the party under the same faction where Ogboru and the Senator representing Delta central in the National Assembly (NASS), Ovie Omo-Agege, belongs.
The plaintiff, Chief Cyril Ogodo, was declared by the court as the authentic chairman of the main opposition party in the state.
In suit number FA/ASA/CS/76/2018, the plaintiffs had sought 13 reliefs among which are a declaration that the Ogodo-led executive committee is the authentic state executive of the party.
They also prayed the court to declare as null, void and of no effect any and every action purportedly taken, initiated or carried out by the fourth defendant, Jones Erue as chairman of APC (first defendant) by the second defendant (national Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole) in Delta State following his purported inauguration, swearing-in and recognition and/or appointment by the national chairman as chairman of APC in Delta State.
The plaintiffs further prayed the court to declare the candidates that emerged from the primaries conducted by the Ogodo-led executive as the authentic list of candidates for the 2019 general elections.
The court in the judgment, granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.
The judgment may affected the re-election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Francis Waiva and the election of three members of the state House of Assembly, having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led state executives.
Also affected the nomination of Great Ogboru, the governorship candidate, the immediate past governor of the state and senatorial candidate for Delta south, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta north senatorial candidate, Doris Uboh among others.
In his swift reaction, counsel to the defendants, Dr. Okubor Nwachukwu, said the judgment would be tested at the Court of Appeal, expressing confidence that it would be upturned at the appellate court.
On his part, counsel to the plaintiffs, Roland Ekpe said the judgment did not fall short of their expectations, noting that by implication, the nomination of candidates who flew the flag of the party in the 2019 general elections is null and void having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led executive.
Also, Cyril Ogodo, describing the judge as incorruptible, “despite all the intimidation and frivolous petitions, justice was delivered”.
Mr. Turner Ogboru, brother to the APC governorship candidate, who was at the court, urged Ogodo and his group not to rejoice yet, saying that the judgment is void ab-initio.
Mr. Ogboru said the judgment cannot stand legal scrutiny at the Court of Appeal, stating that the court was wrong to nullify the primaries conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
“When we profile it, we will go on appeal. The beauty of our jurisprudence is that the first court has its right but you have the upper court to correct all the errors of a lower court.
“There was no dependable evidence to make the judge reach this decision. The judgment is void ab-initio, it does not even need an appeal to set it aside because this court cannot sit as Court of Appeal over another Federal High Court judgment. There is a Federal High Court subsisting judgment which has not be set aside, it is a consent judgment of which no appeared has be done against”, Ogboru argued.