The Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State yesterday sacked the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress,APC, in the State, Mr. Emeka Ibeh consequent on his purported election into the office in May 19, 2018 which was not in line with both the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended and the constitution of the party.
Justice I.B. Gafai who presided over the Suit No: EHC/CS/70/WK/2018 brought before it by one Sir Onyekwere Uzochukwu, a state chairmanship aspirant in the May 19, 2018 State Congress of the party against the incumbent chairman, Mr. Emeka Ibeh, the APC, the Independent National Electoral Committee,INEC, and two others.
Gafai also ordered the APC to immediately conduct a fresh congress for the purpose of electing the state chairman of the party.
The Court further ordered that the INEC should monitor the said election, while at the same point rejected to award the N100m damages sought by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff, Sir Onyekwere Uzochukwu has in the suit filed on his behalf by his counsel, Chief Tagbo Ike (Esq.) had sought a total of 11 reliefs part of which was an order restraining the second defendant, Mr. Emeka Ibeh, from parading himself as the APC Chairman in Anambra State, perpetual injunctions restraining the APC (1st defendant) from recognizing Ibeh as the state chairman of the party as well as a declaration that the plaintiff was not liable to any disciplinary sanction by the party when he had exhausted all avenues of internal conflict resolutions to no avail.
The plaintiff also sought a declaration that he was entitled as a member of APC to aspire to the office of state chairman of the party being qualified to so do, and that the APC is the intendant of section 223 of the 1999 constitution as amended, and article 20 of APC constitution and guidelines for Wards, local government and state congresses of the party 2018.
The plaintiff equally sought a declaration of the court that the election into the office of the chairman of APC in the state held on May, 19, 2018 in Awka in the face of multiple applicants to the office ought to be by a democratic process, adding that the court should also declare that the election for the office of chairman of the state APC fell short of section 223 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The court granted issues 1-5 in the originating summons in favour of the plaintiff and refused issues 6-9 which sought to stop the former chairman from recontesting in the primaries on the ground of nonresignation of his office before the Congress.
The plaintiff counsel, Chief Tagbo Ike said they approached the court after the purported congress because of what they saw as a rape on democracy.
He said that section 223 of the Nigerian Constitution enjoined all registered political parties in Nigeria to conduct their primaries in a democratic manner, but that in Anambra APC, a group of select people who called themselves stakeholders sat in a hotel room and chose their stooges after other aspirants had purchased forms and campaigned for the various offices. He said it was a mockery of democracy.
The sacked APC state chairman, Mr. Emeka Ibeh could not pick his calls when contacted on the phone even when it rang severally.