The High Court of Bayelsa State, in the Sagbama Judicial Division, sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital, has reinstated the sacked Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe.
It was learnt that the decision of the court has generated fresh tension in the party, casting doubts over the APC’s congresses scheduled to commence in the state on Saturday.
The National Executive Committee of the APC had expelled Orunimighe; his deputy, Eddy Julius and the state Secretary, Marlin Daniel, from the party, and appointed Mr. Joseph Fafi, as the acting Chairman.
The expulsion had come amid the lingering crisis between factions loyal to the party leader and former Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, and that of Orunimighe.
The APC national headquarters, had in a letter signed by the General Secretary, Mala Buni, said the party’s NEC upheld the August 3, 2017 recommendation of the National Working Committee for Orunimighe and the others to be suspended and expelled over alleged anti-party activities.
The expulsion letter dated August 4, 2017, with reference number APC/NDQ/552/31/017/002, had also ordered the expelled Orunimighe to hand over the party property in his possession to the party’s Vice-Chairman of the State Central Senatorial District.
But angered by the action of the party, Orunimighe sued the APC, the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, challenging his removal.
The claimant on April 26, 2018, filed an ex parte motion, praying the court to issue an order directing the defendants to recognise and deal with him as the chairman of APC pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Orunimighe also sought an order directing the defendants to accord him all the rights and privileges as the APC chairman as well as an order directing that nobody apart from him should exercise and perform the functions of the APC chairman in the state.