…As INEC says it has not been served
The State chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River, Etim john has been restrained by a State High Court from parading himself as Chairman of the Party.
Etim John was sworn in on Monday as chairman of the party along with his 34 other colleagues in Abuja by the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun at the Party National Secretariat in Abuja.
Chief Oyegun acknowledged crisis trailing the outcome of the state Congresses promised harmonization of the party executive in the affected states while inaugurating the State’s Excos. He has since constituted a committee with the Party National Chairman, (North) Senator Lawan Shuaibu to head the committee to reconcile the aggrieved factions.
Two aggrieved chieftains of the party in the state Dr. Mathew Achigbe and Barrister Egere Osim, had earlier approached the Court with a Motion on Notice to restrain the APC National Working Committee, (NWC), INEC and members of the new executive in Cross Rivers state.
The presiding judge, Justice Ashu Ewah of Cross River State High Court, in Akpabuyo Judicial Division had on 3rd June, granted the relief sought by the applicants through an order of interim injunction restraining the APC NWC, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) ,8th and 9th defendants, respectively from according recognition to John and six others, joined as 1st to 7th defendants, members of the newly constituted executive.
Justice Ewah ruled thus: “That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the 1st to 7th defendants jointly or severally, their agents, privies, servants, supporters, hirelings, cohorts or assigns, etc. from parading or allowing themselves be paraded, or acting in any capacity as State Executive Officer(s) of the All Progressive Congress Cross River state chapter
and are hereby further restrained from exercising or performing the duties, functions or demanding, taking and receiving or enjoying any benefits, rights, privileges, perquisites etc pertaining to any of the offices of the State Executive Committee of the All Progressive Congress, Cross Rivers state chapter pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside this application on the 25/5/2018;
“That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the 8th and 9th defendants whether by themselves, their agents, members, employees, staff, privies, servants etc from acknowledging, recognizing and/or in any manner whatsoever dealing with the 1st to 7th defendants (or any of them) as State Executive officer(s) of the All Progressive Congress, Cross Rivers state chapter pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed alongside this application;
“That the Motion on Notice and all other originating processes shall be served on the defendants and it is hereby fixed on the 7th day of June, 2018 for hearing and determination”.
In his reaction, the Resident Electoral Commission, (REC) for Cross Rivers, Dr. Briyai Frankland in a telephone conversation with the Daily Times said that his Commission was not aware of the judgment, stating that INEC has not been served saying; “We aren’t aware of any court pronouncement on the APC state Congress in Cross River State. If there was such, we haven’t been served”.
The APC National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire, (SAN) could not be reached for comments as he could not be reached.