Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on
National chairman of INEC, Prof Morris Iwu may have entered into trouble as the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, yesterday, applied to the Federal high court for an order summoning him before it to explain why he should not be committed to prison over a statement credited to him to the effect that he would not recognize the decision of the court in the lingering chairmanship tussle of APGA.
ABUJA—National chairman of INEC, Prof Morris Iwu may have entered into trouble as the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, yesterday, applied to the Federal high court for an order summoning him before it to explain why he should not be committed to prison over a statement credited to him to the effect that he would not recognize the decision of the court in the lingering chairmanship tussle of APGA.
Prof Iwu was said to have granted an interview to a reporter of a national daily, Daily Trust, saying that the only person he recognized as the acting National Chairman of APGA was Mr Victor Umeh and that nothing would make him shift his position including an order of the court.
A copy of the newspaper which quoted Prof Iwu vowing never to recognize any other person as the party’s acting leader was tendered in court yesterday while an oral application to summon Prof Iwu was being moved by attorney to Chief Okorie, Chief Chris Uche (SAN).
It would be recalled that INEC under the leadership of Prof Iwu recently recognized Chief Victor Umeh as the acting National Chairman of APGA to the chagrin of Chief Chekwas Okorie.
The recognition of Umeh came at a time a suit was pending before the Federal high court, Abuja for an order of injunction restraining Umeh and others in his faction from parading themselves as members of the party or executive members of the party, having been allegedly expelled from APGA.
Because of the letter issued by Prof Iwu-led INEC recognizing Victor Umeh, Chief Okorie came before the high court with an application to join INEC in the substantive suit so that the decisions that would be reached by the court would be binding on the commission.
Okorie also sought for an interim order of the court restraining all the parties in the case from taking any action capable of overreaching its decision, a request that was granted.
Although the court ordered that status quo ante be maintained in the case while hearing in the case was adjourned till yesterday, INEC issued a release to the effect that the order of the court did not affect its recognition of Victor Umeh as the acting National Chairman of APGA.
Before yesterday, the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Iwu granted an interview, saying that the commission had already recognized Victor Umeh and was not bound by the decision of the court in a pending suit over the matter.
The position of Prof Iwu in the matter worried Chief Okorie who brought up the matter to the attention of the court yesterday.
He spoke through his counsel, Chief Chris Uche: "my lord, there is a matter that is worrisome to us. There is a publication in the Daily Trust of yesterday where Prof Iwu said that he was not going to be bound by whatever happened in this court. He said the use of court cannot deter him and the commission and he is a party in this case.
"My lord, if he is not making his comment on a matter before this court, it is a different thing entirely. For him to be passing derogatory comments is contemptuous of this court. He should be invited to come and explain this statement.
"It would be recalled that as soon as we commenced this matter, this same Prof Iwu issued a letter of recognition to the other party. Here he is now saying that he is not going to be bound by the decision of this court.
any client but in the interest and for the dignity of the judiciary," he added.
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