The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Victor Oye, has reportedly held a National Executive Committee meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in defiance of the Federal High Court order that barred him from doing so.
The Federal Capital Territory High Court 40 sitting in Bwari, Abuja, had ordered Oye to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.
The court also restrained him from holding any gatherings, meetings, congresses or convention in the name of APGA NEC or NWC, declaring such congress and convention as null and void.
The order followed a Supreme Court ruling on March 24, 2023, that deleted Oye from its judgment record and affirmed Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic chairman of the party.
The judgement put to rest the marathon battle for the soul of APGA which had been running for four years between Njoku and Oye.
Justice Garba Lawal, while reading the unanimous judgment of the entire panellists, ordered that Oye’s name be expunged from the case with file number SC/CV/687/2021, in line with page 13 of Chief Njoku’s application, and be replaced with “Chief Edozie Njoku” as National Chairman of APGA.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission, in a press statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on May 9, insisted that Oye remains the APGA National Chairman.
Emboldened by the INEC backing, Oye dismissed the parallel APGA chairman Njoku’s insistence that he has no right to conduct the May 31 National Convention contending that no court ruling forbids him from doing so.
However, it was gathered that notable APGA stalwarts avoided the NWC and NEC meeting which was held on Friday at the Cardinal International Hotel, Awka, because of the subsisting court order.
In spite of that, Oye who convened the meeting of the NWC and NEC of the party, dismissed the reports from Njoku’s faction, saying they are unfounded and should be rejected.
He also noted that the issues of the fate of the members who allegedly played anti-party roles during the 2023 elections would be handled in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution, noting that it is an internal affair of the party.
He said, “As you can see this is APGA and this is APGA for real and don’t mind all those things that you read and hear about because they are not APGA.
“At the meeting, we ratified the guidelines and timetable for the Congresses and the Convention which would take place on the 31 of May and this was through motions that were moved and ratified by the members of the NWC and NEC of the party.
“Well we have a constitution of the party and such a thing would be handled in line with the provisions of the party constitution and this is an internal affairs of the party.”
Reacting to the development, a pro-democracy movement, Save Democracy Group, threatened to occupy Abuja due to INEC’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court judgment of March 24.
The group stated that INEC’s refusal to obey judgment threatened Nigeria’s democracy.
Speaking with the group’s Director of Media, Austin Igboeche, said, “Considering what we went through as a nation to evolve into a democratic state, it is difficult to comprehend why Nigerians will allow INEC to plunge Nigeria into an avoidable conflagration.