Ebonyi APC: Court hears suit against Nwibo-led Caretaker Committee September 14

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday adjourned to September 14, for hearing in a suit against the Nwibo-led Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi State.

Justice Mohammed adjourned hearing in the suit following request by counsel to the plaintiffs to enable him respond to court documents served on him by the defendants in opposition to the suit.

Sixteen chieftains of the APC led by Hon. Chukwuma Odu are seeking an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja restraining  the Caretaker Committee headed by Hon Aloy Nwibo from overseeing the affairs of the party in the State.

The plaintiffs have also asked the court to stop the Caretaker Committee from registering and revalidating the membership list of APC in Ebonyi State.

The chieftains further asked the court to restrain APC, it’s chairman Caretaker Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mr Mai Mala Buni, APC National Caretaker Committee and All Progressives Congress National Executive Committee listed as the 1st, 2nd , 3rd and 4th defendants respectively from recognizing and accepting Nwibo’s purported led caretaker committee.

They stated in a suit commenced by originating summons that the purported Aloy Nwibo, Stanley Okoro and Engr. Ogbonnaya Igboke’s Caretaker Committee was unlawfully constituted and should not be recognized as APC Caretaker Committee in Ebonyi State in place of Engr. Jeff Ogbu and Mr.John Okochi who were duly elected officers.

When the matter was called Wednesday, counsel to the plaintiffs, Prince Obed Amazu, informed the court that although the matter was fixed for definite hearing, he would be asking for a short adjournment to enable him respond to the replies of the defendants, which according to him where served on him on the evening of Tuesday August 31.

While stating that amongst the replies were notices of preliminary objection and counter affidavits to the suit, he said there are some facts introduced by the defendants that requires some time to look into.

Amazu, accordingly prayed the court for a short adjournment to respond to the replies of the defendants.

In his response, Mr Wale Balogun, lawyer to the APC and acting National Chairman, urged the court to adjourned the matter till after the court vacation, because there is nothing urgent about the suit.

According to Balogun, the law stipulates 180 days for hearing of a pre-election matter and as such there was plenty of time to hear the suit.

However, in a short ruling, Justice Mohammed adjourned till September 14 for hearing.
The court also ordered service of the court processes on the third and fourth respondents.
Aloy Nwibo, Stanley Okoro and Engr. Ogbonnaya Igboke were listed as the 7th, 8th and 9th defendants in the suit filed on behalf of APC chieftains by Chief B. Igwilo (SAN ), and Prince Obed Amazu.
The plaintiffs also asked for four declarations bordering on the alleged breaches of APC rules particularly Article 47(i)(Ii)(iii) of All Progressives Congress Constitution 2014.
“A declaration that the purported constitution and recognition of a caretaker committee led by the 7th ,9th Defendants and others ,made up of non members of the APC to take over the activities of elected members of Ebonyi is in breach of Article 9 (I) of the APC 2014 and the 4th defendants (All Progressives Congress National Executive Committee’s ) resolution-decision of December 8, 2020.”
A further declaration that by the said “resolution of December 8, 2020 the 5th and 6th defendants and other composed members remains the valid state working committee of the APC Ebonyi State.”
The plaintiffs also raised eight questions for determination by the court including “whether by the provision of Article 17 (I) (ii) (IV) of All Progressives Congress Constitution 2014 , 1st to 4th defendants were right to dissolve the duly elected Ebonyi State working Committee of APC in December 2020 while the duration of their tenure in office is still subsisting till the year 2022, among other questions”.