By Ovasa Ogaga,
The plot by some aggrieved leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State to restrain the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) members from organizing party local government congress scheduled for September 4th, has failed as Delta State High Court in Asaba refused to grant them the ex-parte order they sought.
Recall that ahead of the Ward Congress, some leaders of APC in the state including the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Chief Festus Keyamo, the party governorship candidate in 2019 elections, Chief Great Ogboru, former speakers of the Delta State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei and Monday Igbuya; former Executive Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Mariam Ali, and Air Vice-Marshal Okorodudu had threatened to boycott party’s congress over alleged hijack of the process by a certain leader of the party.
Advocate.ng gathered that not happy with the outcome of the Ward Congress and their failure to get the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to cancel the process in Delta, they mobilised the APC State Deputy Chairman, Elvis Ayomanor and a few other officials to challenge the outcome of the ward congress in the state.
The Delta State High Court in Asaba did not restrain Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni and others from parading themselves as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) members.
In an ex-parte application in case A/145/2021: Elvis Ayomanor & Ors v APC & Ors, dated 18/8/21 and filed on 19/8/21, currently pending before the Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba presided over by Hon. Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro, the Claimants/ Applicants prayed the honourable court for an interim order.
In an ex-parte application, they prayed for, among others: “An order of interim injunction of this court restraining the second to 14th defendants/respondents from further acting or parading themselves as the members of the CECPC of the first defendant (APC) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed and served in the suit.
“Alternatively, an order of interim injunction of this court restraining the second to 14th defendants/respondents from conducting the local government and state congresses slated for September 4, 2021, or any other date, and other congresses of the first defendant in Delta State, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed and served.”
However, rather than granting the reliefs as prayed, Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro ruled in her wisdom: “This court has looked at the motion Ex-Parte dated 18th/8/2021 and filed 19th/8/2021seeking the reliefs as set out on the face of the motion paper.
This court has also looked at the supporting affidavit along with exhibits attached as well as the written address containing legal arguments in support of the prayers sought.
“Reliefs 1, 2, 3 and 4 have to do with issues of service of processes on all parties in this suit. Relief 5, 6 and 7 are injunctive reliefs being sought in the interim. The affidavits in support contain sufficient grounds for the grant of the reliefs being sought.
“Reliefs 1, 2, 3, 4 and alternative prayer 5 of the motion Ex-Parte are hereby granted. Alternative prayer 5 is granted only in relation to the 15th defendant. In compliance with order 39 Rule 7(3) of the Extant Civil Procedure Rules of this court, this order of injunction granted shall abate after 7 days. It shall not operate ad infinitum. This matter stands adjourned to 7th September 2021 by 10.00 a.m. on agreement of counsel”.
The 15th defendant in the suit affected by alternative prayer 5 as granted by her lordship, is Prophet Jones Ode Erue, who is caretaker chairman of the APC in Delta, and not All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) members as was erroneously interpreted by the Claimants/ Applicants lawyer.
Reacting to media report following the misinterpretation of the ruling of the Delta State High Court, Delta APC State Legal Adviser, Barr Valentin Onojeghuo, in a statement stated that:
“There is no order of the Delta State High Court sitting at Asaba presided over by Hon. Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro restraining the 2nd -14th Defendants/Respondents, who are constitutionally mandated to carry out such exercise on behalf of the 1st defendant (the All Progressives Congress), from conducting local government congresses nationwide, Delta State, inclusive.
“There is no order of the Honourable Court restraining the 2nd-14th Defendants/Respondents from parading themselves as members of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress.
“There is no order of the Delta State High Court restraining the 15th Defendant from parading himself as State Chairman of the Party in Delta State.
“It does not behoves on desperate litigants to mischievously engage in twisting the clear orders of court for the purposes of hoodwinking members of the general public for selfish parochial interests.”
BELOW IS THE COPY OF THE ENROLLMENT OF ORDER OF THE COURT: