APGA Leadership Tussle: Oye Supporters Confident of Victory


Nseobong Okon-Ekong

As the date draws near for a pronouncement by the Supreme Court on the lingering leadership tussle in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), supporters of Chief Victor Oye, factional leader of the party, have expressed confidence that the case would be decided in their favour.

Party members, mainly from Imo and Anambra states recently paid a solidarity visit to Oye to reiterate their unflinching support.
The Oye faction is also believed to enjoy the benevolence of Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.
Another group of APGA members loyal to Oye reportedly met in Abuja yesterday to fashion out methods that will keep the APGA leadership within the Oye and Obiano camp, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

APGA leadership has been a matter of contention in court since May 22, 2017, when an Enugu High Court presided over by Justice A. R. Ozoemena, gave an order of mandamus, compelling the police and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise Chief Martin Agbaso as APGA national chairman.
The High Court’s decision followed an application brought to it by the party’s deputy chairman in Enugu State, Mike Alioke, asking the court for an order of mandamus, compelling INEC to recognise the decision of APGA appointing Agbaso as the acting national chairman of the party.

Alioke had also pleaded with the court for a declaration that by section 4 of the Police Act, both the Inspector General of Police and the Enugu State Commissioner of Police are bound to ensure the compliance of the decision of APGA regarding the appointment of Agbaso as the acting national chairman of the party in order to forestall a breakdown of law and order. He had also prayed for an order prohibiting INEC and its privies from recognising or accepting any other person as the national chairman of APGA other than Agbaso as submitted to it by the party.

Dissatisfied with the judgement, Victor Oye headed for the appellate court to challenge the order of Justice A. R. Ozoemena. The Appeal Court granted him his request, which was later challenged at the Supreme Court by other party.

The Supreme Court has reserved judgement on the matter for July 13, following the refusal of the presiding judge, Justice Rhode Vivour, to discontinue with the case as requested by counsels to the defendant, Oye.

While attempts to get the reaction of Oye and Agbaso, were not successful as both men refused to pick their calls and did not also respond to text messages, Chief Eneja Okeke, an APGA chieftain in Anambra and an Agbaso loyalist discountenanced the stories of jubilation in the Oye camp.