***We have not been served—INEC
A Cross Rivers state high court has restrained the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Honourable Etim John from parading himself as chairman of the party.
However, the Cross Rivers Resident Electoral Commission, (REC), Dr Briyai Frankland, said his Commission was not aware of the judgment, adding that INEC has not been served.
Honourable John was sworn in on Monday as chairman of the party along with his 34 other colleagues in Abuja by national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie even as he acknowledged crisis trailing the outcome of the state Congresses has promised harmonization of the party executive in the affected states.
The party has since constituted a committee with the party national chairman, (North) Senator Lawan Shuaibu to handle the harmonisation towards placating frayed nerves.
But two aggrieved chieftains of the party in Cross Rivers, Dr Mathew Achigbe and Barrister Egere Osim, had earlier before the inauguration 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 Rivers State High Court, in Akpabuyo Judicial Division had on 30th June granted the reliefs 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 recogntion to Honourable John and six others, joined as 1st to 7th defendants, members of the newly constituted executive
Justice Ewah ruled ” 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 Rivers state chapter and are hereby further restrained from exercising or performing the duties, functions or demanding, taking/ 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 Ist 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 on the 7th day of June, 2018 for hearing and determination.”
Frankland said: ” We aren’t aware of any court pronouncement on the APC state Congress in Cross Rivers. If there was such, we haven’t been served.”
The APC national legal adviser, Muiz Banire, (SAN) could not be reached for comments, as his line was switched off.