The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has voided an interim order of a Rivers State High Court against the membership revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
The appellate court also struck out the appeals by the APC against the decision of lower courts on the issues bordering on service.
The decisions were given by a three-man panel of appeal, Justice H. Tsammani, P. Elechi, Gabriel Kolawole, in five different appeals brought before the court by the APC.
While the court struck out the cases based on applications in 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th and 5th appeals for lacking in merit and an abuse of court processes, the court favoured the appellants in the fifth appeal by voiding the interim order of the lower court.
The lead judgment read by Justice Tsammani in the fifth appeal, faulted the extension of the order stopping the revalidation by Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the state High Court, to seven days after its expiration.
He noted that the order which was to last for seven days was extended when counsel had already put up an appearance in court.
Justice Tsammani, who voided the decision of the lower court, directed that the case file be remitted back to the Chief Justice of the state and that the matter be reassigned to another judge of the court.
APC factions differ on A-Court’s decision on revalidation exercise
The two factions of the APC, in Rivers State, have differed on the Court of Appeal’s decision on the revalidation exercise in the state.
While the faction loyal to the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, said the decision of the Appeal Court meant that the party should go ahead with the revalidation exercise in the state, the factional loyal to Igo Aguma, maintained that the appellate court did not set aside the interim order of lower courts stopping the exercise.
Spokesman of the party in the state, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, in a statement in Port Harcourt, “Today’s decision by the Court of Appeal has laid to rest, the frivolous quest by Igo Aguma and his associates to prevent law-abiding members of the party from taking part in a legitimate process ordered by the National Secretariat of the APC.‘‘
“For us, this is a strong moral victory for the APC. Consequent upon this ruling, members of the party in the State are free as from today to go about the business of revalidating their membership.”
But, Emmanuel Deeyah, a Statutory Executive Member of APC, explained “The appeals all failed in our favour as the Court of Appeal remitted them back to the High Court for continued hearing.
“None of the decisions of the High Court of was touched by the Court of Appeal particularly that of Abina J. which directed parties that nothing should be done in respect of the registration/revalidation exercise by the APC Rivers state pending the determination of the suit.”