S’Court upholds Ogbobula as Rivers APC Chair, Amaechi’s camp celebrate
As party chieftains, Igo Aguma and Livingstone Wechie quit APC
The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition filed by Mr. Igo Aguma and recognised Isaac Ogbobula as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the River State All Progressives Congess (APC) in line with the directive of the Mai Mala Buni-led National Caretaker Committee of the APC.
Mr. Aguma has approached the apex court after the Court of Appeal upturned the decision of the lower Court which had upheld him as the party chairman.
Ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed Aguma’s prayers and upheld the decision of the Appeal Court, thereby putting to rest the leadership tussle that has bedeviled APC in the state.
The party was divided into two warring factions led by the Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on the one part, and Senator Magnus Abe on the other.
The power tussle had led to banishing of the party from contesting the election in the last governorship elections.
Consequently, there is a great celebration in the camp of Amaechi, following the judgment issued by the court today.
Amaechi’s camp had kicked against the court’s decision after the High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, in an attempt to resolve the crisis, declared Aguma of the Abe camp chairman last year.
Meanwhile, as the camp of Amaechi are jubilating, key players in the Abe’s camp have announced their decisions to quit the party.
The former factional chairman of the party, Aguma, in a statement, said:
“I have received the Supreme Court judgement which dismissed my Appeal challenging the Court of Appeal decision which upturned the High Court judgment that declared me as Acting Chairman of APC in Rivers state.
“It is now clear that it is not within the purview of the Court to protect the rights and privileges of members of a political party, in this case, the APC. It is the APC that should protect the rights of her members but has failed to do so.
“I cannot continue to be a member of a Political party that endangers and does not give any form of protection to the rights of its members and has no respect whatsoever for its own constitution at all but chooses to be run against democratic principles in toto for self-destructive purposes.
“Therefore I announce my exit from the All Progressives Congress immediately”.
Another party chieftain, Livingstone Wechie in a separate statements said:
“I was present at the Supreme Court this morning to witness the judgements touching on the Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress particularly the case of Igo Aguma v. APC.
“I respect the Supreme Court judgement which today dismissed the Appeal challenging the Court of Appeal decision which upturned the High Court judgment that declared Rt. Hon. Igo Aguma as Acting Chairman of APC in Rivers state.
“The Supreme Court in its view decided that it is not within the purview of the Court to protect the rights and privileges of members of a political party particularly the APC because that is an internal party matter.
“I see this development as unhealthy judicial precedence which should be intellectually interrogated moving forward.
“More so, it is dangerous for politics and political party democracy in Nigeria that for any reason the jurisdiction of court should be ultimately ousted as it affects grievances by party members not minding political party arbitrariness which the court ought to restrict in the interest of our democracy in Nigeria.
“Regrettably, the APC that preaches respect for the rule of Law rather than protect the said rights of her members as enshrined has failed to do so and celebrates the violation of its own constitution traditionally.
“It has been a long battle for internal democracy in the APC Rivers state to give genuine stakeholder opportunities to members. However the status quo is unsafe for my political struggle and future which I must sustain for the good of my fatherland.
“I cannot continue to be a member of a Political party where asking questions is a death and a party that sabotages and trades mindlessly and selfishly with the rights of its members.
“Therefore I announce my exit from the All Progressives Congress immediately. This is my decision.”
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