THE Supreme Court decision over the All Progressives Congress, APC, primaries in Rivers State has sent jitters into the Donatus Nwankpa-led faction of the party in Abia State.
The Nwankpa faction also conducted congresses and primaries in spite of a High Court injunction secured by another faction of the party led Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe.
The Ndukwe camp had on March 2018, secured a court injunction from an Abia State High Court, presided over by Justice Killington Okoroafor restraining the Nwankpa faction from conducting the party’s ward, local and state congresses, pending the determination of a suit filed by the Ndukwe executive committee.
On account of the court order, the committee that came from Abuja to conduct the congresses was divided with one led by the Chairman conducting the Nwankpa faction’s primaries while the secretary, who insisted on respecting the court order, conducted that of the Ndukwe faction.
It was learned that an Appeal Committee set up by the party and led by one Aminu Ifesinachi upheld the congresses of the Ndukwe faction and dismissed the one conducted by Nwankpa group as an illegal act.
And on June 28, 2018, the Court reaffirmed its judgement and without vacating the order, the two factions went into the primaries, and conducted parallel primaries for all elective positions.
While the Ndukwe camp elected High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the governorship candidate, the Nwanpka faction elected Dr. Uche Ogah as its candidate.
Surprisingly, on the adjourned date, the case file was discovered to be missing in the Court. On inquiry, it was said that an official of the Abia State High Court directed the Isiala Ngwa court registrar to transfer the file to Umuahia without the knowledge of the presiding judge, an action that has prompted the Ndukwe faction to petition the State Chief Judge complaining about the illegal removal of the case file.
The party described the removal of the case file as “criminal obstruction of justice, and muzzling and ridiculing of the judiciary.”
In the petition signed by the factional Chairman and Secretary, Emmanuel Ndukwe and Chidi Avaja, and one of the litigants in the missing case file, Engr. Chris Okpechi, they alleged that the aim of illegally removing the file was “to pervert the course of justice in our suit.”
“We write to strongly protest the unilateral, fraudulent removal of the case file of suit no: HIN/4/2018 [Fabian Okonkwo and others vs All Progressives Congress and 5 others] before His Lordship HON. Justice C. U. Okoroafor without due notification, consent and approval of the presiding Judge.
While the matter subsists Monday’s Supreme Court decision has become a source of worry for the Nwankpa faction of the party, fearing that the situation may happen in Abia.