Being a Press Statement Presented by Chief Edozie Njoku, National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on August 12, 2022:
It is more than three (3) months since the Supreme Court corrected its Judgment of October 14th 2021 in Suit No: SC/CV/686/2021. The correction struck out Victor Oye’s name and replaced it with Chief Edozie Njoku, my humble self.
Clearly, Hon. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter–Odili’s lead Judgment which was corroborated by the other four Honorable Justices in the panel reads;
‘It needs to be stated at this point that the dispute being who should be the Acting National Chairman of the 1st Respondent APGA and whether the Chairman, Chief Edozie Njoku was validly replaced are within the confines of the internal affairs of the 1st Respondent which is not justiciable.’
By the virtue of this Judgment, all litigations and disputations about APGA leadership were laid to rest. There is always an end to litigations.
Impressively, the other Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court gave their separate Judgments as follows;
Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed Saulawa’s Judgment in Page 3 Paragraph 2 states;
‘The Court has an unfettered jurisdictional competence, nay and onerous duty to undo the mischief done by a party in the abuse of judicial process, most especially in the instant case, where the 3rd Respondent reprehensibly resorted to Forum Shopping. This is to avoid an unwholesome situation whereby the Court would be presented with a Fait Accompli. Thus, this Court is cloaked with the jurisdiction to restore the parties to the position they ought to have been prior to the offending action.’
Instructively, the offending action which the Hon. Justice referred to was my illegal removal as the National Chairman of APGA. Furthermore, his reference to restoring ‘the parties to the position they ought to have been prior to the offending action’ was a return to status ante bellum; before the journey to the Jigawa State High Court.
Consequently, in his Judgment, Hon. Justice Lawal Garba Mohammed said;
‘With all the events happening and all the parties directly involved present in Imo State at the material time, the 3rd Respondent manifestly embarked on what has now become known in our Judicial Jurisprudence as ‘Forum Shopping’ by going to initiate the action in the High Court of Jigawa State instead of the High Court of Imo State, where all the facts and events giving rise to the cause of action are shown to have occurred or happened.’
Unarguably, it is clear to INEC that Ozonkpu Victor Oye was never part of the Owerri Convention that was in contention.
On July 15, 2022, the Supreme Court released the Enrolment/Enforcement Order of the Judgment and served INEC on the same day. Despite all these, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood and INEC have refused to obey the Supreme Court order.
Prior to this, on April 6, 2022, Hon. Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja Division in Suit No: FHC/BAU/CS/10/2020 in Motion No. FHC/BAU/M/41/2020 between Chief Edozie Njoku & Others Vs Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) & another made two important Rulings.
It established beyond reasonable doubt that the Owerri Convention of May 31, 2019; where I was elected as the National Chairman of APGA is the authentic Convention. It also settled the issue of representation of the Party, by affirming that Barr. Hamman Buba Ghide, is the authentic National Legal Adviser of APGA.
Observably, Victor Oye did not Appeal this Judgment, because the Federal High Court was unequivocal in its Ruling that the matter is not justiciable.
We have abundant evidence of all the surreptitious and nocturnal moves by Victor Oye’s group, using a very senior lawyer who is notorious for compromising judicial officers to thwart the content of the judgment which has already been served on INEC.
INEC silence over our recognition is to enable Oye and his people conclude what they are hatching at the Supreme Court.
Fellow Compatriots, our democracy is at a very perilous juncture.
I am calling on Nigerians, especially the National Assembly; the Attorney General of the Federation and President Buhari to take note that if INEC continues on this trajectory 2023 elections amy not hold.
This is the first time that a Supreme Court Judgment is being tossed about with so much temerity and disdainful arrogance.
Fellow Nigerians, I wish to conclude with the words of Dante Alighieri,
‘The hottest part of hell would be reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.’