There is an Igbo adage that says, when a father is unconcerned about the habits of his children, unethical lifestyle becomes their habit. No one that values ethics and high morals will beat his chest that he is proud of the Anambra political climate, especially as it is evident in the Anambra State APGA party.
It all started with the crisis in the APGA party, in which some promising aspirants were allegedly screened out on flimsy excuses, after sapping them much of their wealth. Dissatisfied, a faction led by Chief Jude Okeke was created in the APGA party, which purportedly suspended Ozonkpu Victor Ike Oye from the party and scheduled 1st July 2021 as the date of the APGA primary. In the midst of the confusion was the purported letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission to the National Chairman of APGA, dated 18th June 2021, REF:INEC/DEPM/UPPM/1/145, titled “RE: FORWARDING OF COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF DELEGATES FOR THE APGA PRIMARY ELECTION FOR ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION 2011,” which noted that “APGA did not duly notify Commission of the date of the Congress where the ad-hoc delegates were elected.” However, Ozonkpu Victor Ike Oye’s faction of APGA did a rancour-free APGA primary election on 23rd June 2021, and Professor Soludo, which the Okeke’s faction purportedly suspended, was elected.
On 1st July 2021, Chief Jude Okeke’s APGA-led faction elected Honourable Chukwuma Michael Umeoji, a sitting member of the House of Representatives, representing Aguata Federal Constituency, as the APGA Gubernatorial candidate. Many political observers took Umeoji’s emergence unserious, but politics is unpredictable.
On 16th July 2021, INEC released the list of candidates for the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for 6th November 2021. Surprisingly, INEC, relying on the court order of the Jigawa State High Court, listed Hon. Chukwuma Michael Umeoji as the APGA governorship candidate. Prior to the INEC publication, Ozonkpu Victor Ike Oye, had allegedly written an open letter to the Chairman of INEC claiming to be the “only legally, legitimately and constitutionality-recognized national chairman of APGA.” He noted that the “so-called Jude Okeke has never been our member. I have never even met him. We just saw him on AIT network on July 15, 2021 announcing himself as acting national chairman of APGA in a gathering of misfits and miscreants, which he called NEC meeting.” He urged the INEC Chairman to disobey Jigawa State Court order, calling it a “bizarre judgement” and “the height of illegality and injustice.”
Reacting to that, AIF Media noted: “I have listened to many of Soludo and Victor Oye’s supporters asking why a Jigawa state high court will have jurisdiction to determine who is the candidate of APGA in Anambra state. The Jigawa state high court did not entertain any suit on who is the candidate of APGA in Anambra state November 6 governorship election. The suit before the Jigawa state high court was on the tussle over the National Chairman of APGA between Oye and Jude Okeke. The court in its judgement ruled that Jude Okeke is the acting National Chairman of APGA and only asked INEC to deal with him and accord recognition to any primary election his leadership of APGA conducts.
“Having done the above clarification, now hear this.
“Ozo Victor Oye went to Oyo state precisely Ibadan and obtained a judgement. That judgement would have been valid today if not that Oye who claimed to be a lawyer did not understand the content of the judgement he got from Ibadan. In that judgement, the court stated that APGA MUST conduct her 2019 ward, LG and state congresses on May 15, 17 and 19 respectively. That was the exact clauses of the Ibadan high court. The Oyo state high court, Ibadan told Oye to go ahead with the conduct of APGA convention on May 31, 2019 to elect her national officers. The court also asked APGA to conduct her ward, LG and state congresses on May 15, 17 and 19. The ward, LG and state congresses were to elect Adhoc delegates for the national convention on May 31. But Oye left what the Yoruba court told him to do and went to conduct ward, LG and state congresses on May 21, 23 and 27th. In that regard, he violated the judgement of the court. And that’s why the Convention Oye did at Awka on May 31, 2019 where he claimed to have been reelected for a second term is null and void.
“But Chief Edozie Njoku [factional APGA National Chairman] who is also laying claim to APGA chairmanship is telling the courts that his faction held their ward, LG and states congresses on May 15, 17, and 19th as directed by the Ibadan high court judgment. So when Oye saw that he messed up with Ibadan judgement, he rushed to Abuja and filed a suit to stop Edozie Njoku. He got an order which stopped Edozie Njoku from parading himself as the National Chairman of APGA.
“When Edozie Njoku filed his response to the court and detailed the Abuja court how Oye violated the judgement of Ibadan high court, a highly respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria from the southeast who was to handle the matter for Oye saw the response of Njoku, he told Oye that he would not win the case that it was very bad having violated the Ibadan judgement in conducting the convention that where he claimed to have been reelected as APGA National Chairman.
“Based on the sincere advice of the respected SAN, Oye ran back to the Abuja court and withdrew the case. The judge who was embarrassed told Oye at the open court that if he withdraws the case, that he would also revoke the order which stopped Edozie Njoku from parading himself as the National Chairman of APGA. Ozonkpu did not object to the position of the court, and the judge struck out both the substantive suit and the restraining order.
“This made Edozie Njoku to proceed to another court and filed an application of mandamus on the grounds that since Oye withdrew the order which restrained him from parading as APGA National Chairman that he should be recognized now. That application is still pending at the court. Oye is deliberately frustrating the speedy conclusion of the suit by filing frivolous appeals at the Appeal court from every bench ruling of the trial court.”
Added to that, the credible source stated that “Barr Jude Okeke is the Deputy National Chairman under Chief Edozie Njoku. Remember that since Oye personally and willfully withdrew the restraining order on Edozie Njoku, that he has lost the chairmanship of the party. Forget that INEC was still recognizing Oye illegally, it was because Oye had enough state funds to service “ndi” INEC. They knew Oye had nothing to stand on and cannot be sustained so they were busy milking him till now.
“With many court cases here and there between Oye, Edozie Njoku and Barr Mic Adams who even exposed all these mistakes and violations of Ibadan high court judgement, Jude Okeke who is next to Edozie Njoku allegedly convened a National Executive Committee, NEC of the party. The NEC was said to have removed Oye and Edozie Njoku and equally suspended some leaders of APGA including Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo and appointed Jude Okeke to act as the National Chairman of APGA. This was what the Jigawa state high court upheld.
“Finally, when you see Oye’s camp criticizing the Jigawa state high court judgment in favour of Jude Okeke, when Oye equally went to yoruba to get a Judgement from Ibadan and also went to Orerekpe in Delta state to get an order just pity them.”
As basklifenews writes, an Abuja Upper Area Court has allegedly ordered the arrest of Professor Chukwuma Soludo in a “criminal summons marked DC/CR/556/2021 which was issued in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code (CAP 30:255).” According to Sunnewsonline, “the complainant, Oliver Bitrus, alleged that between the period Prof. Soludo held office as a Public Officer he flagrantly breached the Code of Conduct for Public Officer by buying or acquiring interest in a property known and described as No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom. The property is covered by File Plan of Tile No. MX362301.”
In all these political hurdles, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, visibly rattled, has managed to reassure his supporters that justice would be in his favour. In the words of Mr. Joe C. Anatune, a member of CeeCee Soludo Campaign, “our supporters and indeed all Anambra people, who have been waiting patiently for Soludo’s leadership of the state, are advised not to be deterred by the Jigawa State Court order. They should rather remain supremely confident of not only Soludo’s participation in the November 6 gubernatorial vote but also his triumph in the polls with a big margin which will lead to a new era in our state for the benefit of all. The campaign for Soludo’s emergence as the successor to Governor Willie Obiano has become a movement of the people through and through. The movement will come to fruition.” A few hours ago, Justice Charles Okaa of Awka High Court has returned Prof. Soludo as the valid APGA candidate for the Anambra State gubernatorial election. It is left for the INEC to state if it will comply with the court order – an order which may not be superior to the order earlier given by the Jigawa State court order. Basklivenews learnt that only an Appeal Court’s order could set aside Jigawa State court order.
It is clearer that the APGA party is a house divided against itself. The foundation of the APGA party is evidently unsolid and shaky. The elders of the party have refused to wear thinking caps and join hands together to salvage the dying party. Until that is done, this year’s Anambra State gubernatorial election may be the last anthem of nkea bu nke anyi in the APGA party.