A High Court in Ebonyi has threatened to jail the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun and the party’s scribe, Mai Mala Buni for alleged contempt of court.
The presiding judge, H. A. Njoku, said the duo must appear on September 28 to give reasons why they should not be jailed for flouting the court’s ruling on the leadership tussle rocking the Ebonyi State chapter of the party.
The court is angry that that the party leaders disobeyed an
order of interlocutory injunction restraining them, or their agents from effecting a change in the leadership of the party in the state.
The crisis in the state chapter erupted when Mr. Oyegun transmitted a letter to the state deputy chairman, Eze Nwachukwu elevating him to the acting chairman of the party.
However, the supposedly suspended chairman of the chapter, Ben Nwobasi, denied being suspended, describing Mr. Nwachukwu as an impostor.
The court had on November 6, 2014 restrained the respondent from appointing caretaker committee in place of the executives elected during the ward, local government and state congresses conducted in the state on September 11, 16 and 29, 2014 respectively pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The respondents had earlier been served a notice of consequence of disobedience to court orders, which they reportedly ignored.
They rather went ahead to issue Mr. Nwachukwu a letter appointing him as interim chairman of the party in the state.
However, following an initial threat of imprisonment for alleged contempt of court, the duo beat a retreat in a letter dated April 25, 2017 addressed to Mr Nwachukwu where they withdrew the approval of his elevation.
In a dramatic twist, however, the two officials alongside other members of the national executive of the party again last month re-announced the appointment of Mr. Nwachukwu as chairman of the party in the state.
Meanwhile, counsel to the respondents, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, told PREMIUM TIMES that he has asked the court to grant him ample time to ensure the duo respond to the summons.