Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Appeal Court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital yesterday set outside the Asaba Federal High Court judgement which declared Chief Cyril Ogodo as the authentic chairman of the Delta State chapter of All progressives Congress (APC) for lack of jurisdiction to entertain the case.
Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court in Asaba had in a judgement on March 18th, 2019 in suit No. FA/ASA/CS/76/2018 sacked Jones Erue faction that produced Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and others as candidate.
The trial judge in the judgement affirmed Ogodo and candidates of his faction as the original candidates of the party for the 2019 general elections.
Ogodo had sought 13 reliefs, among which is a declaration that the Ogodo-led executive committee was the authentic state executive of the APC, declaration that candidates who emerged from the primaries conducted by the Ogodo-led executive were the authentic candidates and the court granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.
Justice Toyin Adegoke also held that the primary election conducted by the Jones Erue leadership was null and void and further invalidated the nomination of Ogboru, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and other candidates nominated by the Erue leadership for the 2019 elections.
But upturning the judgement of the lower court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Mohamad Shuaibu, the appeal court struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction.
According Justice Shuaibu who anchored his judgement on technicalities, held that the lower court has limited jurisdiction, and that in inter party matters, the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain and therefore “the case is struck out”.
Reacting to the judgment, Chief Cyril Ogodo whose faction was earlier declared as the authentic executive of the party in the state has vowed to challenge the judgement at the Supreme Court.
While urging his supporters to remain calm, he said, “all hope is not lost. God has the final say. We shall meet at the Supreme Court.”
With the judgement, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and other candidates that emerged on the Prophet Jones Erue’s faction including the APC governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, remain the candidates of the party for the 2019 general elections.