Rivers APC Crisis: Appeal Court fixes date for hearing

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday fixed July 8 to hear an appeal filed by a former chairman, caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Isaac Ogbobula.

The appeal, which ought to be heard in the state but transferred to Abuja last week, is challenging the judgement of the High Court in Rivers State that declared Igo Aguma the acting chairman of the party in the state.

During the court session on Monday, the appellant’s lawyer, Tuduru Ede, told the court that there were two applications pending and that both were filed on June 26.

Mr Ede said the first application is for abreachment of time for departure from the rule to enable him compile records of the court and the other is an application for a retaining order against Mr Aguma pending the determination of the appeal.

On his part, Mr Aguma’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, raised an objection that the application is not ripe for hearing .

But the three member panel of appellate court led by Justice Stephen Adah, upheld the objection and fixed July 8 for hearing.

‘Tussle’

Mr Aguma belongs to a faction of the APC in Rivers that is loyal to Magnus Abe, a former governorship aspirant in the state.

Mr Ogbobula belongs to a faction loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

Mr Amaechi is a former governor of Rivers and one of APC’s most influential leaders, but he has been having it tough getting the APC in Rivers to unite in the party’s quest to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the oil-rich state.

The protracted crisis in the party prompted the court to declare that the APC did not have a governorship candidate in Rivers in 2019, paving the way for Governor Nyesom Wike of the PDP to have an easy second term victory.

READ ALSO: APC state chapter “suspends” Oshiomhole

Mr Aguma, a former member of the House of Representatives and former political ally to Mr Amaechi, parted ways with him over his (Amaechi) insistence that Mr Abe would not be the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 and the 2019 elections.

Mr Aguma filed a lawsuit in December 2019 against the APC, including its former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for setting up a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party in Rivers.

He had told the court that the setting up of the caretaker committee contravened the APC rules.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice George Omereji held that Mr Aguma suffered injustice and his civil rights violated when the APC set up the caretaker committee.

Justice Omereji then declared Mr Aguma, the acting chairman of the party in the state.

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