Edo APC crisis: Court declines to stop ‘new chairman’

By Jethro Ibileke

The Federal High Court, Benin City division, in  in Benin City, on Wednesday declined to grant an order restraining Col. David Imuse (rtd) from parading himself as chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), pending the determination of a suit brought before it.

The court however directed that all motions relating to the matter should be presented altogether on December 10, after which a ruling would be given.

In the suit number FHC/B/CS/133/2019, the Plaintiffs/ Applicants; Anselm Ojezua and two others, through their Counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN), prayed the court to issue an order restraining the Defendants; Col David Imuse (rtd), Lawrence Okah from parading themselves as state chairman and secretary of the party respectively.

They argued that Ojezua remained the chairman of the party, while Okah has been suspended as state secretary of the party

“That the status quo as at 10/11/2019 with regard to chairmanship of the APC should be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the case And for such further or other orders as this honourable court may deem it fit to make in the circumstances of this case,” they averred.

But, in a motion of preliminary objection filed through their lawyers Douglas Ogbankwa (esq), Famous Osawaru and K.M. Jimoh (Miss), of West Idahosa Chambers, Imuse, Okah and others  posited that the court does not have jurisdiction on the suspension of Ojezua which they argued is a “domestic affair of the APC,” and that “the suit as constituted, is inchoate and the court lacks jurisdiction to hear same.

“The subject matter of this dispute purely revolves round the suspension/removal of the 1st plaintiff as chairman of APC Edo State,” they asserted.

In her ruling, Justice A. A. Deemi-Ajayi who refused to grant the order, fixed December 10 to hear all motions and necessary documents on the matter and thereafter rule on them.

It would be recalled that 11 of the 16-member State Working Committee had signed a removal notice on Ojezua as state chairman of the party, although two of the signatories later said they were forced to sign at gun point.

Also, the leadership of the party had also purportedly removed Lawrence Okah, as Edo state secretary of the APC.