The Court of Appeal, sitting at Enugu division on Wednesday sacked the incumbent national chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Martin Agbaso.
In his place the appellate court reinstated his predecessor, Dr. Victor Ikechukwu Oye. This decision was unanimous by the three-man panel of the higher court.
It even went further to dismiss all the applications brought by Agbaso before the court to retain his office.
The judgment also directed Agbaso to vacate the office immediately. It could be recalled that an Enugu High Court presided over by Justice A.R Ozoemena had ordered the removal of the national chairman of APGA), Victor Oye and replaced him with Chief Martin Agbaso.
The judge ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop further dealings with Oye.
The action of the lower court followed a suit by the Secretary of the party in Enugu State, Comrade Mike Alioke, who challenged the continued stay of Oye in office after the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party affirmed his suspension on October 5, last year.
But, delivering judgement on an appeal brought against the judgment of the lover court to the appeal court by Oye, the court presided over by Abdul Aboki affirmed him as the National chairman of APGA. while setting aside the judgment of the lower court.
Aboki, who read the lead judgment said that Oye was not given fair hearing, adding that Oye’s fundamental right was breached. On the submission that the appeal court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the appeal, he dismissed the submission, stating that the Appeal court has the jurisdiction.
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to Chief Victor Oye, Emeka Etiaba SAN said the implication of the verdict was that it is only Oye’s-led executive of APGA that has the right to present the governorship candidate of the party in the November 18 Anambra State election. Perhaps, it was a result of this appellate court’s judgment that enabled the Anambra governor, Willie Obiano to clinch the governorship ticket of APGA for a second term.
Ibe Uwaleke, Lagos and Moses Oyediran, Enugu