A faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, has rejected the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Kano State, which ruled in favour of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo as candidte of the party in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
The appellate court had set aside an earlier judgment by a Jigawa State High Court, declaring the acting National Chairman of the party, Jude Okeke, as the authentic state chairman, and Chukwuma Umeoji, as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election respectively.
A statement on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said Okeke had instructed his lawyers to “take all necessary steps to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.”
The statement dismissed the appellate court’s judgment as “a mere temporary setback which will be set aside by the Supreme Court,” as the Umeoji team is still going round the state campaigning for its candidate in preparation for the elections.
“The Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji Campaign will, therefore, continue unhindered pending the judgment of the Supreme Court where victory is assured.
“All supporters and party members are, therefore, urged to remain peaceful and law-abiding while maintaining the confidence level, as there is nothing that can stop an idea whose time has come,” the statement said.
On the other hand, the Victor Oye-led faction which the Court ruled in favour of as the authentic APGA to be recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hailed the decision of the Kano Appeal Court for quashing the judgment of the Jigawa High Court which recognised Okeke as a factional chairman of the party.
A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Tex Okechukwu, quoting Oye, noted that with the appellate court ruling, there is a renewed hope for theordinary Nigerians in the judicial system.
“Oye congratulated millions of APGA supporters across the country, especially those of them in Anambra State, for their steadfastness and support.
“The APGA national chairman urged all those still feuding with the party to embrace common sense and peace,” the statement reads in part.
The Awka Division Court of Appeal, presided by Justice Chioma Nwosu-Ikpeme, had, on August 4, dismissed an application challenging the judgement of an Awka High Court which declared Soludo, as the authentic candidate of the APGA, in the November 6, gubernatorial election in the state.
Justice Nwosu-Ikpeme who struck out the motion, had accused Anambra politicians of going round the country shopping for judgments to enable them to contest in the November 6 governorship election.
In the judgement, Justice Nwosu-Iheme ruled against a motion by Chike Onyemenam, counsel to Okeke, who claimed to be the national chairman of the APGA, seeking to stop the execution of an order made earlier on July 18 by Justice Charles C. Okaa of the Anambra State High Court directing INEC to recognize Professor Charles Soludo, as the APGA candidate in the gubernatorial election in the state.
On July 16, INEC had published the name of Umeoji as the APGA candidate following an order by the Jigawa State High Court on June 28, relying on a judgement by the Imo State High Court in Owerri, on July 30 gave a judgment affirming Okeke as the APGA chairman and Umeoji the party’s gubernatorial candidate, prompting Soludo to appeal the judgment.
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