Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State assumed a new dimension yesterday as the Federal High Court in the state restrained the party and its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, from recognising Ben Nwoye as the elected Chairman of the party in the state.
In an order of the court yesterday, following relief sought for motion ex parte by three members of the APC in the state, Justice A.M. Liman among other orders, said: â€œThat for reliefs C and D, the respondents are hereby ordered to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
â€œIn other words, the respondents are hereby restrained from recognising the second respondent and all persons elected at the Enugu State congress of the APC pending the hearing of motion on notice which is fixed for the 6th June, 2018.
THISDAY checks showed that with the order, the faction of the party loyal to Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, now has full control of the party structures pending the determination of the substantive suit.
A factional Chairman of the party in the state, Okey Ogbodo and two others had approached the court seeking order of substituted service on the defendants; an order of interim injunction restraining the party, Oyegun and Nwoye form parading Nwoye as elected chairman on the May 19 state congress and for an accelerated hearing on the matter.
Justice Liman granted three out of the four reliefs including the plea for injunction on the respondents.
Speaking with journalists after the order of the court, Ogbodo described himself as the authentic state Chairman of the party, contending that he was elected as the state party chairman on May 19 congress at Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium.
Ogbodo added that there was no other date slated for the state congress except May 19 and that any other person claiming to be elected on any other date was on his own.
Nwoye however told journalists that it was not possible for any court to declare Ogbodo as chairman of the party.
He maintained that his tenure as party chairman was still running till June when they would be dissolved.