The embattled National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Ikechukwu Oye, reportedly held a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
On May 10, 2023, the Federal Capital Territory High Court 40 sitting in Bwari, Abuja, ordered Chief Oye to stop parading himself as the national chairman of the party.
Also, the court restrained him from holding any gatherings, meetings, congresses or convention in the name of APGA NEC or NWC, declaring such congress and convention as null and void, an order that he flouted by holding the NEC meeting.
But Oye, who was said to have presided over the NEC meeting in Awka, Anambra State, dismissed the insistence by parallel Chairman, Mr. Edozie Njoku, had no right to conduct the May 31st National Convention, contending that no court ruling forbids him from doing so.
He said: “As you can see this is APGA and this is APGA for real and don’t mind all those things that you read and hear about because they are not APGA.
“At the meeting we ratified the guidelines and time table for the Congresses and the Convention which would take place on the 31st of May and this was through motions that were moved and ratified by the members of the National Working Committee NWC and National Executive Committee NEC of the party.”
Oye also noted that the issues of the fate of the alleged members who played anti party during the elections would be handled in line with the provisions of the party constitution noting that it is an internal affairs of the party.
“Well we have a constitution of the party and such a thing would be handled in line with the provisions of the party constitution and this is an internal affairs of the party,” he said.
The ruling restraining him from holding any gatherings, meetings, Congresses or Convention in the name of APGA NEC or NWC on May 10, had stated that such exercise shall be declared as null and void.
The order followed a Supreme Court ruling on March 24, 2023, that removed Victor Oye from its judgement record and affirmed Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic chairman of the party, thus putting to an end a four-year running battle over the soul of APGA.
Hon. Justice Garba Lawal, while reading the unanimous Judgement of the entire panelists, ordered that Oye’s name be expunged from the case with file number SC/CV/687/2021, in line with page 13 of Chief Njoku s application, and be replaced with “Chief Edozie Njoku” as National Chairman of APGA.
However, despite both judgements, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in total disregard of the Supreme Court, in a press release issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq., on May 9, insisted that Oye is the APGA National Chairman.
By doing so, INEC ignored the recent Supreme Court judgement that recognised Edozie Njoku as the authentic APGA National Chairman and still recognised Chief Oye as the party’s national chairman.
Sources said Oye became emboldened to disobey the court, following INEC’s backing.
Meanwhile, some APGA stalwarts, including the state governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, avoided the meeting, were yet others who attended the meeting despite a subsisting court order that voided his positio
Reacting to the development, a pro-democracy movement, Save Democracy Group, threatened to occupy Abuja due to INEC’s refusal to obey a Supreme Court Judgment of March 24.
The group stated that INEC’s refusal to obey Supreme Court judgment is a threat to Nigeria’s democray.
The group’s Director of Media, Austin Igboeche, said: “Considering what we went through as a nation to evolve into a democratic state, it is difficult to comprehend why Nigerians will allow INEC to plunge Nigeria into an avoidable conflagration.
“What is Chief Victor Oye’s name still doing on INEC’s website when the Apex Court had ordered that it should be deleted. One thing INEC has struggled so hard to imprint in our minds is that the institution is infallible and above the law.
“This obnoxious narrative is designed to sustain the impunity for which the commission has gained notoriety. But, it is up to us as a people, either to allow or stop it. This is simply our mission.
He said: “Ozo Victor Oye is now above the law. He acts with impunity. INEC led by Mahmood Yakubu is backing him to disobey our courts.
“INEC has emboldened Oye to act with impunity against a subsisting court pronouncement. But with time, we shall know if Oye and INEC have what it takes to disobey the Supreme Court.”
Another observer, Don Nwabueze opined that “shortly INEC will abandon him to rot in jail, after same commission had depleted both the Anambra State Treasury and APGA Purse through him and his cohorts.”