- –Weâ€™re not bound by Ogboru/Agege consent judgment, says Ogodo
Tobi Soniyi in Lagos and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Delta State have called on members of the party to put their differences aside and work together to defeat the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party in the 2019 elections.
The elders decided to meet following the clashes which took place during the partyâ€™s national convention in Abuja last week and last Thursdayâ€™s consent judgment of a Federal High Court which removes the legal issues between the factions in the party.
In a statement they issued after their meeting, the leaders including Chief Great Ogboru, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Dr. Iyke Odikpo, Chief Charles Uwaechie, Dr. Alex Ideh and Hon. George Timinimi said: â€œThe Federal High Court has endorsed its 19th June, 2018 consent judgment in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/509/18 upholding the authentic results of the 5th and 12th May, 2018 Ward and Local Government Congresses duly submitted to our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), by Alhaji Sanni Dododo in his capacity as the Chairman of the Ward and Local Government Congress Committee in Delta State.
â€œThe court also affirmed that only the valid delegates who emerged from the congresses conducted by Alhaji Dododo could produce a State Executive as was done on 19th May, 2018 when Prophet Jones Ode Erue and his entire State Executives were duly elected.
â€œBy the consent judgment, the new national leadership of our parry rightly and totally endorsed our current Ward, LGA and State leadership structure under Prophet Jones Ode Erue.
â€œMay we, on behalf of our fellow respected APC leaders all over Delta State, express our immense gratitude to our great party now ably led by His Excellency Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the courage to do what is right and keep the Delta APC together under the tenets of justice, respect for due process and zero tolerance for impunity.
â€œTherefore, we call on all leaders and members of the Delta State APC to come together and heal our party. Our party has immense electoral and governance promises and potentials. We need everyone to deliver on these promises and harness the potentials. We cannot allow the past internal differences to harm us further.
â€œWe are comrades in genuine, patriotic pursuit of good governance for our people. We are not mortal enemies. We must never allow anyone of us to suffer exclusion, deprivation, or harm for whatever position they may have held during the pendency of our challenges. Putting the past behind. Let us march forward with a positive spirit of brotherhood.
â€œOn the political battles ahead of us, let it be very clear to us all that our resolve to defeat the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State in 2019 is beyond the ordinary. We will match, surpass and roundly defeat PDP in every election, whether Presidential, Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives or House of Assembly.â€
They boasted the electorates and people of Delta State overwhelmingly supported APC.
The statement also said: â€œPDPâ€™s wastefulness, deep-seated corruption and violent impunity are self-evident. And one thing should be clear to PDP by now.
â€œFinally, let us in humility draw a very important lesson from the past disagreements. Going forward, we must not allow disruptive and violent elements to undermine our party and divide us. For orderliness, it is necessary to respect those we elect to manage the affairs of our party at all levels.â€
Meanwhile, the last may not have been heard on the leadership crisis rocking the Delta State Chapter of the APC as the State Chairman, Chief Cyril Ogodo has said the party is not bound by the consent judgment procured by Ogboru/Agege faction of the party, because they were not party to the case.
Ogodo, while reacting to the consent judgment entered into by the new National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in a suit filed by Odjebobo Onoyefeme and Lyndon Ugbome against the APC National Chairman and the APC National Working Committee with Suit No.: FHC/ABJ/CS/509/8 on behalf of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru led group of APC, said; â€œWe find this action of the new Chairman totally inexplicable.â€
The Delta APC chairmanâ€™s position is contained in a press statement issued and signed by the Delta State APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Moses Kamanya which read in parts: â€œWe are not bound by consent judgment obtained by Agege/Ogboru group without our consent.
â€œIt has come to our notice that on June 28, 2018 a consent judgment in respect of a suit filed by Odjebobo Desire Onoyefeme and Lyndon L.O.I Ugbome against the APC National Chairman and the APC National Working Committee with Suit No.: FHC/ABJ/CS/509/8 was secured by the Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru led group of APC members in Delta State.
“The purport of the consent judgment is to accord legitimacy to the Wards and LGA Executives elected at the parallel congresses conducted by the Agege/Ogboru group which were earlier adjudged illegal by the Chief John Oyegun led NWC who actually conducted, supervised and approved the outcome of the recently conducted congresses of the APC nationwide.
â€œThe attempt to procure this consent judgment came to our notice and that of the APC NWC on June 12, 2018. The then NWC found that officers of the Legal Department in APC without its knowledge, directive, consent and approval acted in connivance with its appointed legal counsel to draw up terms of settlement proposed by the Plaintiffs that were acting on behalf of the Agege/Ogboru group.
â€œThe NWC immediately debriefed the counsel and appointed a new one Messrs Chief J. K. Gadzama SAN, in his place, with the instruction to terminate the process of consent judgment and purported terms of settlement as they were not authorised nor emanated from the NWC.
â€œThe NWC had earlier approved all congresses conducted according to its guidelines and had inaugurated congresses won by the Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo led Executives in Delta State and had rejected the executives that emerged from the Agege/Ogboru conducted parallel congresses. On June 22, 2018 the then National Chairman personally attended court to disown the so called terms of settlement that purportedly emanated from him and the NWCâ€, it said.
The Chairman however said it came to the knowledge of the party however that among the very first act taken by the new National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was to withdraw the Messrs Chief J. K. Gadzama who had the brief of the erstwhile NWC to terminate the purported consent judgment process and appoint a new counsel Messrs Adeniyi Michael Akintola, SAN presumably with instruction to pursue and secure the erstwhile unauthorised consent judgment in order to award through court the Wards and LGAs Executives to the Agege/Ogboru group adding “We find this action of the new Chairman totally inexplicable.
â€œWe the Chief Cyril Ogodo led Executives in Delta State that were duly elected and inaugurated by the erstwhile NWC were never party to the above suit and by law are not bound by the outcome of the said consent judgment nor can our positions be taken away or de-legitimised by a court consent judgment entered into by two parties without our knowledge, directive, consent or approval.
â€œNonetheless, we have written a Protest Letter to the National Chairman and copied to all current NWC members pointing out this aberration and requesting them to step away from entrenching a party faction in Delta State”, it stated.
The Cyril Ogbodo-led executives said it is taking all legal actions to vacate the consent judgment on the basis of it being procured through fraud and misrepresentation.