Court order: Okwu steps aside as APGA chairman

BY SONI DANIEL/CHRIS OCHAYI/LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU

ABUJA — The National Chairman of a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Maxi Okwu, said Wednesday he would abide by the order of a Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, which restrained him from parading himself as national chairman of the party.

To this end, all activities of the party lined up under Barrister Okwu, including the town hall meetings scheduled for Enugu on Friday, April 19, 2013, have been temporarily suspended.

This came at a time the crisis of confidence rocking the party took a new dimension as its National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Habib Galo, disowned the faction loyal to Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, accusing the faction of allegedly using his name to gain credibility.

Gov Peter Obi, Late Odumegwu Ojukwu and Victor Umeh

Gov Peter Obi, Late Odumegwu Ojukwu and Victor Umeh

These came as Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday said it was yet to take a position on the court order restraining it from recognizing Maxi Okwu as national chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA or the faction loyal to him.

Okwu in a statement in Abuja, said:  “I have received an e-copy of the controversial order made on  April 15, 2013, in suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/88/2013 for himself and others and INEC and five others including my humble self.

“As a counsel with 35 years of experience, I will abide by that direct court order on me until it is set aside. I concede that the plaintiffs who are merely surrogates of our political opposition have scored a pyrrhic victory, as it will be set aside shortly.”

Meanwhile, National Financial Secretary of the party, Alhaji Habib Galo, said he was shocked to hear his name announced as having won an election in Awka, Anambra State, when he neither attended the national convention of the party that held in Awka nor signified interest in what he called an illegal poll.

In a letter dated April 11, 2013, and addressed to the chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Galo frowned on his purported election at the so-called convention in Awka, which allegedly produced Maxi Okwu.

Also, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said that the commission would make its position known only when legal experts in the electoral body offered their advice in the logjam.

Said he: “You know, INEC normally takes positions in the context of legal terrain and these issues are informed by advice by lawyers on what the implications of  subsisting judgments are. That’s why only the lawyers can advice. That’s why I am being cautious in giving direct response. Except I am advised by the legal people, I can’t talk.”

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