There is palpable tension in the Delta State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) following judgement by the Appeal Court sitting in Benin, Edo State, which upheld earlier decision of the Federal High Court, Asaba restraining the party from submitting names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the forthcoming general elections.
The Appeal Court in its ruling Thursday, January 24, 2019, also described the application brought before it by the Chief Great Ogboru/Senator Ovie Omo-Agege’s faction and the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) challenging the lower court’s ruling as lacking in merit and grossly incompetent.
Ruling on the case with the suit No. CA/B/541/2018 between APC and AVR vs Chief Cyril Ogodo and others, the Appeal Court also particularly held that the lower court’s ruling of August 17, 2018 on “No Submission of Name to INEC” by both factions of the party is still binding.
Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court, Asaba, had in a ruling, ordered the APC National Chairman, Oshiomhole, INEC, Prophet Jones Erue and Plaintiffs in the case to maintain status quo and desist from submitting any list of candidates from Delta State from both factions to INEC till determination of the substantive suit.
The Chief Cyril Ogodo-led State Working Committee, backed by Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and others had approached the court seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining the APC and Adams Oshiomhole submitting names of candidate from Prophet Jones Erue led faction to INEC.
Reading the judgement on behalf of the three-man panel, Hon Justice M.A.A. Adumein said there was no issue upon which an appeal can even lie in the suit filed by APC and its national chairman (Oshiomhole) and subsequently struck out the case.
Justice Adumein noted that the appellants did not sort the leave of the lower court or Appeal Court before instituting the case, declaring that the ruling of Federal High Court on August 17, 2018 still subsist and binding on all parties.
The judge subsequently dismissed the case with a fine of N300, 000 against the appellants (APC and Oshiomhole).
The news of the ruling has being generating tension across the state leading to APC leaders in the state going into an emergency meetings to avoid another Rivers State situation.
However, while reacting to the judgement, the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, debunked reports that the Court of Appeal, Benin-City, yesterday ruled that the party has no candidate in the state ahead of next month’s general election.