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Imo Fresh Congresses: SAN Warns APC, Oshiomhole, Others Against Contempt Of Court

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The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the national legal adviser, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Barrister Babatunde Ogala respectively, have been warned against the huge legal implications of the planned fresh congresses in the Imo State chapter, which is scheduled to start this Friday. In a letter addressed to the party’s national chairman by K. C. Nwufo (SAN) on behalf of APC’s stakeholders in the state, he warned that it would be ‘’contentious of the court for any congress to be held in Imo State, let alone appointing any caretaker committee during the pendency of a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction pending the determination of the appeal against the judgement in suit no. FHC/OW/CS/69/2018.’’Relaying on the judgement of the Federal High Court, sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, dated July 6, 2018, which ordered fresh congresses in Imo State chapter of the party, the national secretariat of APC had scheduled to commence the congress tomorrow.

But informing the party of the pendency of appeal against the judgement, Barrister Nwufo (SAN) informed the national leadership of APC that it is a settled matter by the Supreme Court that ‘’after the defendant has been notified of the pendency of a matter seeking an injunction, even though a temporary injunction be not granted, he acts at his peril and subject to the power of court to restore the status wholly irrespective of the merits as they may be ultimately decided.’’
The senior lawyer further explained that once a suit seeking an injunction is pending in court, anybody who acts contrary to it is doing so at his own peril, as he is liable to be committed to prison for contempt of court.
‘’Since we believe that we are in a democratic dispensation, we shall allow the rule of law to prevail. For the rule of law to prevail, we must not take the laws into our hands’’, the SAN warned.

‘’In a civilized society, such as Nigeria, once a matter is pending before a court, parties should stay further extra-judicial actions and allow the sacred wisdom that flows from the temple of justice to guide their conducts.’’

Similarly, in a letter dated July 18, 2018 by a law firm, Ahmed Raji & Co on behalf of the Imo State Chairman of APC, Chief Hilary Eke, the national chairman of the party was also informed of the pending appeals and motion for stay of execution in the same suit.

The letter signed by Ahmed Raji (SAN) on behalf of the law firm, averred that in the recent congresses of APC in Imo State, Chief Eke and those he represents were elected as party officers in different capacities at the local government areas and state levels.

He added, “The said election was recognised and accepted by the party. However, certain aggrieved members of the party instituted an action at the Federal High Court, Owerri Judicial Division (suit No. FHC/OW/CS/69/2018) to challenge the election, on the primary ground that it was inconclusive.’’

The SAN further argued that while the court agreed with the plaintiffs, Chief Eke and other officers of the state chapter of APC, had lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal in a bid to challenge the judgement of the Federal High Court.

He added that a motion for stay of execution of the said judgement was also filed to ensure parties remain at status quo, pending the determination of the appeal, and until the motion for stay of execution.

On his part, the immediate National Organising Secretary of APC, Senator Osita Izunaso through his lawyer, Chief Soronnadi A. Njoku, in a letter dated July 17, 2018, also informed the National Legal Adviser of the party about the pendency of motion for injunction pending appeal in the same suit.

He equally advised the party to respect the judicial process by not taking any step whatsoever in respect of the subject matter of the said suit until the matter is fully and final resolved by the court.



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