One of the most sterling admonitions of the millennium might be the words of Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha ‘honesty is an expensive gift; don’t expect it from cheap people. To build on lies is to build on nothing.
Perhaps, the most important line in Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ maybe the words of Ogbuefi Ezeudu to Okonkwo concerning Ikemefuna, a child that was kept in his custody on behalf of the community. While Ikemefuna was surreptitiously being led to the slaughter, Ogbuefi Ezeudu whispered to Okonkwo, ‘that child calls you Father, do not bear a hand in his death’. Okonkwo’s inability to heed the words of Ogbuefi Ezeudu provides a veritable reference at this ominous time.
For those of us that see APGA as the conventional political Party, for the advancement of fraud, crime and impunity. It is pertinent to let them know that beyond being a political platform, APGA is our heritage and our people have this unexplainable affinity with it. Anyone that partakes in its burial will answer to our people, either here or in the hereafter. It does not matter whether we believe this or not.
On July 31, 2019, Chief Edozie Njoku, the National Chairman of APGA lodged an Appeal against the judgment of Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa of High Court No. 2, Awka, Anambra State, in Suit No. A/201/2021 on Monday, July 19, 2021, directing INEC to accept the name of Prof. Charles Soludo as the APGA Gubernatorial Candidate for the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election.
The chain of events leading to the above latest Legal drama can be summarized as follows:
After the May 31, 2019 convention held at Concorde Hotel, Owerri which produced Chief Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA, Ozonkpu Victor Oye filed Suit No. F.C.T./ / / 2019 – DR. VICTOR OYE V. CHIEF EDOZIE NJOKU & A.P.G.A. In that Suit, Dr. Victor Oye, prayed the Abuja High Court to set aside the Election of Chief Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of the Party and to restrain APGA from further recognizing Edozie Njoku as its National Chairman, while APGA filed a Counter-Claim against Dr. Victor Oye, praying the Court to declare that Dr. Victor Oye is not the National Chairman of APGA and to restrain him by Injunction from parading himself as the Party’s National Chairman.
Dr. Victor Oye threw in the towel and withdrew Suit No. F.C.T./ / / 2019 – DR. VICTOR OYE V. CHIEF EDOZIE NJOKU & APGA challenging Chief Edozie Njoku’s unanimous Election as the National Chairman of APGA, so his Claim was dismissed. Interestingly, the Counter Claim against Oye which was filed by APGA is still pending at the F.C.T. High Court, Abuja.
Thereafter, APGA & Others filed Suit No. FHC/ / 2020 before the Federal High Court, Abuja, praying that Court to make an Order by way of Mandamus, compelling INEC to recognize Chief Edozie Njoku as the Party’s National Chairman. That above Suit is also pending.
Perceptibly, as soon as INEC announced timetable for Anambra Election, Oye’s desperation and agitation to make money from the process tripled. Rather than wait for the above two cases filed by APGA to restrain him from further falsely parading himself as the Party’s National Chairman to be heard, Ozonkpu Victor Oye left Abuja and maneuvered his way back to the Anambra State High Court No. 2 Awka and got his Legal Adviser, Barrister Sylvester Ezeokenwa to file a fresh Suit; in the name of the same APGA that filed the above two pending cases at Abuja against him.
Oye filed a fresh suit against Chief Edozie Njoku and others, praying the High Court No. 2, Awka, presided over by Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa to declare that the Dr. Victor Oye led APGA are the valid National Executive Officers of the Party and to restrain the Chief Edozie Njoku led APGA from conducting the APGA Gubernatorial Primary Election for the Selection of the APGA Gubernatorial Candidate for the Anambra State Governorship Election. If this is not desperation, what else is?.
Upon filing the above Suit and before serving Chief Edozie Njoku with the Court papers, Hon. Justice C.C Okaa granted an Exparte Order of Injunction barring Chief Edozie Njoku and his Exco from conducting their already Scheduled APGA Governorship Primary Election.
Three days later, on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Dr. Victor Oye and Barr. Sylvester Ezeokenwa led Group who filed the above Suit and immediately got an Exparte Injunction barring their opponents from conducting the Governorship Primary Election. They went and conducted their own Factional Governorship Primary Election and announced to the whole world that they had selected Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the APGA Governorship Candidate, without waiting for the Court to decide who between Chief Edozie Njoku and Dr. Victor Oye had the valid right to do so.
Dr. Victor Oye simultaneously got one of his supporters and Member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Sir. Pete Ibida, to file another Suit against him and Barr. Sylvester Ezeokenwa, praying High Court No. 1, Awka, to declare him as the valid National Chairman of APGA entitled to conduct the APGA Gubernatorial Primary Election and select a Governorship Candidate for APGA for the same Anambra State Governorship Election. In other words, a Plaintiff sued a Defendant asking the Court to declare the Defendant the winner of the Election and National Chairman of APGA, without joining the real opponent, Chief Edozie Njoku.
When Chief Edozie Njoku got wind of the above 2nd fraudulent Action, he applied to be joined and was joined as a Co-defendant; and thereafter, Dr. Victor Oye and his Group abandoned that case and went back to pursue the other Case before Justice C.C. Okaa in High Court No. 2, Awka.
Chief Edozie Njoku through his Counsel, Chike Onyemenam, SAN, filed his Defence and challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the case and requested Justice C. C Okaa to disqualify or recuse himself from further hearing the case on two Grounds:
Chief Edozie Njoku had lost confidence in the Court and believes that he would not get Justice from Justice C.C Okaa, the latter having barred him without a hearing from conducting APGA Gubernatorial Primary Election and allowed his opponents and Plaintiffs who brought the case against him, to conduct the same APGA Gubernatorial Primary Election and select Prof. Soludo, which issue was the only issue to be decided at the trial.
Unarguably, the present case was an Abuse of Judicial Process, since the same APGA after having filed two cases against Dr. Victor Oye at the FCT. and Federal High Courts, Abuja, cannot come back to the Anambra State High Court Awka to file the present case on the same subject in favour of the same Dr. Victor Oye.
Chief Edozie Njoku through his above Counsel also filed an Application before the Administrative Judge of Awka High Court, Hon. Justice Ikeogu, for the transfer of the above case in Court 2 to Court 1, so that the above two identical cases on APGA Gubernatorial Primary Election and which of the above two Opponents had a right to conduct same, can be merged or consolidated and heard by one Judge, so as to prevent the same Awka High Court from delivering two Judgments which might be conflicting on the same subject; and applied to Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa to Stay further hearing, to enable the above Administrative Judge take a decision on whether or not to transfer the matter.
When the case came up on Friday, July 16, 2021, Justice C.C. Okaa did the following:
He ignored the Letter written by Barr. Chuka Obele Chuka, Counsel for the 4th-6th Defendants, that he had a sprained waist (Sciatica) but would manage to be in Court by 12noon, claiming that it was aimed at frustrating the hearing of the case and proceeded to strike out the Motion filed by Chuka Obele Chuka asking him to withdraw from further hearing of the case because he privately held a Meeting with Prof. Charles Soludo’s Personal Assistant in his Chambers on the last adjourned date of July 2, 2021.
He hurriedly heard and dismissed an Application by the Chief Chukwuma Umeoji Faction of APGA to join in the Suit and a second Application by another Group to also join in the Suit.
After hearing the very lengthy Arguments from Chike Onyemenam, SAN and P.I.N. Ikwueto, SAN, on Chief Edozie Njoku’s Application to Stay Further Hearing of the Suit to enable His. Lordship, the Administrative Judge of Awka High Court to decide whether or not the case should be transferred, merged and heard together as one case with the identical case in Court No.1, and Chief Njoku’s Application that His Lordship should disqualify himself from hearing the main case on the ground that there was a likelihood of Bias, Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa Expressly refused, in spite of the Application by Chike Onyemenam, SAN, to deliver any Ruling on the two Applications which would have decided whether he was to disqualify himself or not, from hearing the case or whether he should wait for the Administrative Judge to decide whether or not to transfer and merge the two cases together for hearing by one Judge; and Ordered P.I.N. Ikwueto SAN, Counsel for the Dr. Victor Oye & Soludo Group to proceed with the Hearing of the main case.
After forcing the parties to proceed with the hearing of the main case and ignoring the already argued Application for him to Stay further hearing and to Disqualify himself from hearing the case, Chuka Obele Chuka came into the Court by 12noon after being treated by his Doctor and discovered that his Application requesting Justice C.C Okaa to withdraw from hearing the case on grounds of having been compromised by Prof. Charles Soludo, had been hurriedly struck out, in spite of his Letter for a Stand Down filed in Court and in spite of his having notified all the Counsel in the case in advance who gave their consent.
Chuka Obele Chuka consequently applied to the Court to set aside all the proceedings done in his Absence for being a nullity, particularly, the hearing of the main case which had begun, 8 days after he was joined in the case, whereas the 30days given to his Clients (4th-6th Defendants) clearly stated on the Originating Summons served on him to prepare and file their Defence to the case had not yet expired as he still had 22 days remaining.
Justice C.C Okaa ignored all of the above and proceeded on Monday, July 19, 2021 to deliver final Judgment in the main case declaring Dr. Victor Oye Group the Rightful National Executives of APGA and strangely Ordered that the name of Prof. Charles Soludo who was not a Party to the case and who was purportedly selected by the Dr. Victor Oye Group (Plaintiffs) after the case had long been filed, should be accepted and recognized by INEC and listed as the APGA Governorship Candidate; in spite of the fact that His Lordship was notified during the hearing that INEC had published and listed one Chief Umeorji whom he refused to join in the case that same morning, as APGA’s Gubernatorial Candidate for the Election.
Chief Edozie Njoku has through his Counsel, Chike Onyemenam, SAN and Jay G.E. Ezeuko, SAN, filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeal, Awka Division asking the Appeal Court to declare the Judgment of Hon. Justice C.C. Okaa, null and void and also Applied to the Court of Appeal for a Stay of Execution of Justice C.C Okaa’s Judgment directing INEC to Recognize Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the APGA Gubernatorial Candidate for the Anambra Governorship Election, pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.
It is glaring that Ozonkpu Victor Oye, Prof. Soludo and their coterie and apprentices are working assiduously to entomb our dear Party APGA, through the enablement of some compromised Judges at Awka.
However, the Chief Edozie Njoku led APGA will neither sleep nor slumber, in our avowed commitment to purge APGA of bad eggs, fraudulent primaries and criminal activities. We are fully aware that we are on a path less travelled by many, but, with God on our side, whose abundant grace endureth forever, we shall triumph.
Okoro Chinedum Benedict
National Administrative Secretary,