*insists Odike led exco is recognized by law
The Senator Representing Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe has warned that disobeying court orders had deep consequences.
This is as he insisted that the Peter Odike led executive is the valid leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
Abe who is a frontline Governorship candidate of the APC in the state spoke when he appeared as guest on a live television programme monitored in Port Harcourt on Monday, even as he said Ojukaye Flagg Amachree should be ignored since he was not a lawyer and may be oblivious of the consequence of making such a statement.
“Amachree is not a lawyer. But any serious Nigerian knows that any statement made by a panel of the Supreme Court is not a mere academic exercise. They have stated the position of the law. And any smart lawyer knows that if the Supreme Court has said that this is where they stand on this matter it is unlikely that even if you come with 50 appeals, they are going to change what they have declared publicly.
“So for anybody to get up and say that that the pronouncement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is a mere academic exercise and does not affect him, I do not know how somebody can say that and still go to sleep because that is a statement that has deep consequences for our nation.
“So I think we should ignore that because he (Amachree) is not a lawyer and he does not understand the consequences of some of these comments.
” But the Supreme Court has stated and restated the position of the law that as far as the law knows as at the date they were doing what they were doing they were already in contempt of court for disobeying the first order,” Abe maintained .
On the current situation of the APC primaries in the state, the Senator explained that a High Court of the State has voided the entire primaries, saying, “As far as the law is concerned, as far as we (APC) are concerned no primaries held in Rivers State. That is the indirect primaries did not hold, but we held direct primaries in the State and we are asking the party to look into that,” he appealed.
He traced the crisis in the party in the state to when members of the party were denied the opportunity to participate in the congresses of their party after they purchased tellers they were not issued forms and the process was hijacked.
“So party members went to Court on that matter. And the party at the state level led by the Minister of Transportation (Rotimi Amaechi) decided to ignore the courts and indeed when the court gave an order asking them not to go ahead with the congresses at that time, they went on national television to announce that they will not obey the courts.
“So, that started a problem that judicially will be impossible to solve. Because the court now voided those first congresses, voided the second one and they continue to act with impunity as if those court judgements did not matter.
“Now finally that court has given judgment and set aside everything done as a result of that process that stood on nothing ab initio. And the Supreme Court in dealing with an interlocutory application that came out of that has reechoed the stand of the High Court in Port Harcourt that the APC in Rivers State on its present trajectory is on a suicide mission. So you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.
“As we speak there is a valid and subsisting judgement at the High Court which has not been set aside. So whether there is a litigation pending as to which is the valid APC in Rivers State or whether you are appealing does not change the fact that there is only one judgement that exist as far as the issues in Rivers State are concerned. And that judgement sets aside the primaries, the congresses and everything that was done by that illegitimate faction of the party. That is the position of the law today.
“The entire country was aware of this even before we went into the process and it was based on that the National chairman of APC himself at a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party announced that because of the legal situation in Rivers State that direct primaries will have to be used in Rivers State.
“Because, he (Adams Oshiohole) said the party could not lose its structure because of the ongoing litigation and the issues with the judiciary that was ongoing at the time. That was what he said at NEC. So in keeping with what he said at NEC the valid state chapter of the party which is the one led by Sir Peter Odike; because when the court voided that initial congress the court said that the status quo should remain.
“And the statusquo is the Odike exco. Now that is the only legal exco in the state as far as the law is concerned. And they did present to the National Working Committee a memo requesting for direct primaries. And based on that they went ahead and organized direct primaries in keeping with what the National Chairman himself had announced at the NEC.
“So all these results and processes are with the National Chairman and the National Working Committee. It is simply for them to accept that as the only legitimate primaries that was conducted in Rivers State. And that is the true situation of the law,” he posited.