The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ozo Victor Ikechukwu Oye, reportedly held a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in clear defiance of the Federal High Court order that barred him from doing so.
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the Federal Capital Territory High Court 40 sitting in Bwari, Abuja, ordered Chief Oye to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the party, reports Sunday Independent.
The court also restrained him from holding any gatherings, meetings, Congresses or conventions 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 Mar 24, 2023, that affirmed Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic chairman of the party.
The judgement put to rest the battle for the soul of APGA which had been running for four years.
Justice Garba Lawal, while reading the unanimous Judgement of the entire panelists, 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 (INEC), in total and blatant disregard of the Supreme Court, in a press release issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq., on May 9, insisted that Oye is the APGA National Chairman.
INEC ignored the recent Supreme Court judgement that recognised Edozie Njoku as the authentic APGA National Chairman, insisting rather, that Chief Oye is the party’s National Chairman.
Armed and emboldened by INEC backing, Oye acted with impunity, disobeyed a court of competent jurisdiction, and held a NEC meeting in Awka.
Notably, though, APGA stalwarts avoided the “kangaroo” meeting, which was held on Friday against a subsisting court order at the Cardinal International Hotel, Awka.
Pictures of the purported NEC meeting indicated that APGA faithfuls have deserted Oye in respect of the court judgements that sacked him.
Those who boycotted the NEC meeting, in respect of the court decisions which recognized Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of APGA, are the Governor of the State, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, amongst others.
Reacting to the development, a pro-democracy movement, Save Democracy Group, threatened to occupy Abuja due to INEC’s refusal to obey a Supreme Court Judgment of March 24.
The group stated that INEC’s refusal to obey Supreme Court judgment is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
Speaking with the group’s Director of Media, Austin Igboeche, he 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.
“What is Chief Victor Oye’s name still doing on INEC’s website when the Apex Court had ordered that it should be deleted.”
He continued: “One thing INEC has struggled so hard to imprint in our minds is that the institution is infallible and above the law.
“This obnoxious narrative is designed to sustain the impunity for which the Commission has gained notoriety. But, it is up to us as a people, either to allow or stop it. This is simply our mission.”
He added: “Clearly, INEC is up to some games. This matter is no longer about Chief Njoku or APGA; the architects in this tragic drama are simply passing a message, which if allowed to see the light of day may be a good bye to our cherished and valued democracy.”
Mr. Eneh Victor Chigozie, a News Band analyst, lamented that Oye has risen above the law and acts with impunity over the false confidence given to him by INEC led by Mahmood Yakubu.
He said: “Ozo Victor Oye is now above the law. He acts with impunity. INEC led by Mahmood Yakubu is backing him to disobey our courts.
“INEC has emboldened Oye to act with impunity against a subsisting court pronouncement.
“But with time, we shall know if Oye and INEC have what it takes to disobey the Supreme Court.”
Another observer, Don Nwabueze, noted that Oye’s impunity may land in prison.
Presently, all hands are crossed to see how the judiciary will treat the ‘political rascality’ Oye indulged in.