Chief Maxi Okwu
By Christopher Isiguzo
Less than 24 hours after the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu reinstated Chief Victor Umeh as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Maxi Okwu, who emerged in the factional convention held in Awka, Anambra State, Tuesday dismissed the appellate court ruling as an exercise in futility.
He said the court ruling which granted Umeh’s application for stay of execution of the Enugu High Court order, which ousted him and members of his National Working Committee (NWC) from office on February 8, was not binding on his members.
He said it was wrong in law for the Appeal Court to grant a stay of execution to a judgment that had already been executed.
The Court of Appeal, Enugu Division had on Monday reinstated Umeh to office when it granted a motion of stay of execution of the High Court order of February 8, which ousted him and members of the National Working Committee (NEC) from office pending the determination of the substantive appeal.
Speaking during a reception held in his honour by his Achi community in Oji-River Local Government Area of Enugu State, Okwu said a declarative judgment like the one given by the Enugu High Court cannot be stayed, stressing that the convention that elected him was in line with the order of the Enugu, court on February 8.
“That ruling of the Enugu Court of Appeal is an exercise in futility, you cannot abort a pregnancy whose fruit has been delivered. The new baby has been born before an order that the pregnancy be aborted. Their attempt has failed because the baby had been born by 8.30 am. So anything after that time is an exercise in futility, you cannot arrest judgment already executed.
“Enugu State High Court ruled that we should organise another convention and we did that and in the afternoon the Court of Appeal, Enugu is arresting that execution. It is nonsense. Secondly is that we all know that declarative judgments are not ever stayed; you either go through the main case to nullify the judgment or set it aside. So politically speaking, we are ignoring that order, it is not applicable to us, we will remain the APGA acceptable by INEC, and so shall it be until a court in a final judgment says otherwise,” he said.
While declaring his readiness to go into alliance with other parties of like minds including the United Peoples Party (UPP) under Chief Chekwas Okorie, and his former party, the Citizens Popular Party (CPP), Okwu disclosed that he had already extended his hands of fellowship to Umeh.