APC: It’s Ridiculous to Question Membership Status of Party’s Abia Guber Candidate, Says Chairman

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo

The membership status of the newly elected governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike and his loyalty to the ruling party has never been in doubt, the State’s Chairman of Abia APC, Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu has said.

He stated this in his reaction to, “a restraining order” issued by an Abia State High Court sitting in Umuahia after the governorship primary had been concluded.

The suit was filed by some aggrieved party members in a bid to stop the primary and disqualify Emenike’s candidacy on the ground that he had been, “on suspension.”

However, a court judgment made available to the media showed that the purported suspension of the Abia APC leader was quashed last November by an Umuahia High Court sitting in Umunneochi.

Abia APC faithful were therefore taken aback when a court of concurrent jurisdiction decided to delve into a fresh suit and even issued an order in a matter already decided by another court.

Emenike, Ejike Olekanma and Ikenna Emmanuel Anyalewechi had gone to court asking for the nullification of the purported suspension announced at a “kangaroo meeting of the aggrieved” held at Ikwuano in August last year.

Joined as defendants in the suit were APC, then Catetaker Chairman, Mai Mala Buni (for himself and member of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee), and Wilson Chimelulam Utaegbulam.

In its judgment delivered on November 4, 2021, in the Suit No: HUM/41/2021, the court presided over by Justice Benson Anya, had held that Emenike, who then was the Secretary of APC Contact and Strategy Committee, “is an authentic and bona-fide member of APC.”

The court held that the defendants had admitted that the claimants were authentic members of APC having failed to file a counter affidavit to challenge the deposition contained in the 22 paragraph affidavit and four exhibits filed by the claimants.

“This is because facts admitted need no further proof,” Justice Anya said, adding that he was, “convinced that the defendants were duly served the originating summons,” filed on October 20, 2021, yet they could not counter the claimants’ depositions, “but rather filed a written address in response to the originating summons.”

“In the light of the foregoing, the claimants reliefs are granted as prayed and judgment is entered in favour of the claimants,” the court said.

However, no order was made as to cost against the defendants.

Among the reliefs sought by Emenike and the other claimants were that the Court should declare that the said letter dated August 24, 2021, purporting to have suspend Emenike “is ineffective, abusive and ultra vires” of the powers of those purported to have written the said letter.

That Emenike, “is and remains an authentic/bona fide member and leader of the first defendant(APC) in Nkwoegwu Ward, Umuahia North Local Government and Abia State with full rights and benefits.”

The claimants also urged the court to declare that Emenike’s membership of APC was never in question since he was duly registered and his name is in the party’s membership register in his Nkwoegwu ward hence it was only the ward members in relevant ward congress/executive that determine a member’s status following due process.

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