APGA Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh
By Christopher Isiguzo
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, Tuesday failed in his bid to vacate the interim order retraining him from conducting the affairs of the party.
The court presided over by the Enugu state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike refused to vacate the interim order of injunction against Umeh, stating that so many legal weighty issues bordering on locus standi, jurisdiction of the court, abuse of court process, and whether the suit is a domestic political matters were.
Following the refusal of the court to vacate the interim order, the party’s leadership has suspended its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled to take place today (August 1) indefinitely.
In his formal reaction to the decision of the court to defer the detailed ruling in the application for preliminary objection to the suit seeking to unseat him as national chairman as well as the motion seeking to vacate the interim order, Umeh said the suspension of the meeting was in compliance with the order “since APGA remained a law-abiding party”.
While noting that he was still studying the order of the court, Umeh urged members of the party to remain calm as the situation was entirely temporal, disclosing that already his counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) has prepared a notice of appeal and due grounds of appeal against the order including an application for a stay of execution of the order.
He however expressed surprised by the ruling of the court which extended the ex-parte order that was made on July 25, 2012 to September 17 without any request from any of the parties in the suit to do so.
“Secondly, by the Enugu State High Court rules, an ex-parte order lasts for seven days and renewable at maximum for another seven days, which makes the lifespan of any ex-parte order obtained or made by any high court in Enugu State to lapse after 14 days. But today, the lifespan of the ex-parte order was extended to 48 days without any request from the plaintiff for such an extension.
“Order 39 Rule 3(3) & (4) of the High Court Rules of Enugu State, 2006 states as follows: “(3) An order of injunction made upon an application ex-parte shall abate after 7 days.” (4) A Judge may upon application extend the effective period of an order made ex-parte if he is satisfied that the motion on notice has been served and that such extension is necessary in the interest of justice or to prevent an irreparable or serious mischief.
“The application for such an extension shall be made before abatement of the order and the extension shall not be for a period exceeding 7 days from the day the extension is granted”
“The court order was also made to bind APGA even though the initial ex-parte order was not made against APGA,” he noted.