Umeh, Shinkafi and their counsel shun hearing.
A Federal High Court in Abuja, Thursday, failed to rule on a suit instituted by one of the contenders to the chairmanship of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Maxi Okwu, following the absence of the defendants, Victor Umeh and Sani Shinkafi, as well as their counsel from the court proceedings.
Consequently, the judge, Abdul Kafarati, adjourned the matter to October 31 and directed that Messrs Umeh and Shinkafi, National Chairman and National Secretary, respectively, of the party as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should be served notice for the hearing.
Mr. Okwu and four others, Ibrahim Carefor, Dickson Ogu, Gbenga Afeni and Abubakar Adamu, had instituted Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/563/2013 on August 19 against Messrs Umeh, Shinkafi and INEC, seeking a court order directing Messrs Umeh and Shinkafi to vacate their positions as the Chairman and Nationl Secretary.
They contended that Messrs Umeh and Shinkafi were first elected into their offices on January 10, 2003, and were re-elected for a second tenure, which expired on January 9, 2010. According to the plaintiff, the duo had, therefore, exhausted the constitutional two tenures of eight years.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and counsel to the plaintiff, Chris Uche, told the Court that the defendants were duly served and had entered appearance, while Messrs Umeh and Shinkafi through their lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto, had filed a preliminary objection.
Mr. Uche also urged the court to take both the substantive suit and the preliminary objection together in order to expedite action on the suit.
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