The web of crisis surrounding the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday got more entangled as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, warned the former labour leader against showing up at the party’s national secretariat or moving near any formal function of the party in an official capacity.
The IGP had given Oshiomhole the stern warning in obeisance to an order of an Abuja High Court, which gave an interlocutory order restraining Oshiomhole from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.
Though the restricted National Chairman had obtained another order from a Federal High Court in Kano State, which restored him as the APC National Chairman, the party insisted on obeying the first court verdict, since the courts are of coordinate jurisdiction.
The two courts orders had been a source of confusion as it had divided the National Working Committee and other chieftains of the party. The IGP met with the different factions of the NWC at the Force Headquarters, where he handed down the warning.
But as the meeting with the IGP was going on, security was beefed up at the National Secretariat of the APC on Blantyre Street in Wuse 2. Saturday Telegraph noticed men of the Nigerian Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS) patrolling the area under the directive of the FCT Director of DSS, who was seen with about five men of the Service on motorbike. Speaking with Saturday Telegraph, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC), who preferred anonymity, said the chairman’s fate had “been sealed as he was asked by the IGP not to appear at the party secretariat in official capacity”.
The NWC member also explained that the Acting National Secretariat, Hon. Victor Giadom, has been asked to oversee the party until the leadership announces an acting National Chairman. “We have just finished the meeting now and the IGP asked Oshiomhole not to come near the party again. Giadom would be overseeing the party pending when the leaders will announce an acting chairman. And it won’t be long that the party would announce an Acting National Chairman.”
However, some personal staff of Oshiomohle were prevented from gaining access into the party secretariat. The staff, who came with two Toyota Jeep cars were asked to go back from the entrance gate of the party.
From 7am when staff reported for work till 8pm when they left, the APC National Secretariat that is located on Blantyre Street was kept locked. Only few security men where seen going on and out of the secretariat. Even after the Oshiomhole staff identify themselves, they were still denied access to gain entrance into the secretariat. They were later asked to move away from the gate of the secretariats.
Enough is enough, say Oshiomhole’s men.
This is coming as a faction of Edo APC loyal to Oshiomhole said enough is enough over repeated attacks and threats upon the peaceful co-existence of people of the state, particularly, the continued embarrassment of the person of Oshiomhole and his exalted position.
The group also said there would be no right of first refusal or reserved slot for Governor Godwin Obaseki who is battling for second term ticket in the party. Chairman of the faction, Colonel David Imuse (rtd) who stated this during a press conference in Benin City, said the party’s governorship ticket will go to the person who is able to persuade members that he deserves their trust and confidence.
“There will be no right of first refusal, no sacred cows, and no reserved slots. Our party ticket will go to the person who is able to persuade members that he deserves their trust and confidence. We will not be harassed, bombed, intimidated or arm-twisted to give our support to any person. Enough is enough,” said Imuse.
Flanked by APC chieftains and aspirants Imuse said all aspirants, “Including Obaseki, if he chooses to remain in APC, will have to submit themselves to the party primaries.” According to him, all indications are that Obaseki has been going around shopping for a political party that will accept his overbearing and obnoxious determination to foist himself on the political class to actualise his desperate bid for a second term.
“We wish to sound a note of warning to Obaseki and his co-travellers who are determined to destabilize our party that they will not succeed in their dastardly plans. Any person who aspires to contest the forthcoming election to the office of the Governor of Edo state should conduct themselves appropriately as outlined in the Constitution of APC,” he said.
Osagie backs boss
In the same vein, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, blasted a former Minister of State for Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, for comments made against Obaseki, noting that Ogiemwonyi’s inability to manage his private family affairs disqualifies him from the bid to govern Edo State. Osagie, in a statement, said Ogiemwonyi’s political career was initiated by his estranged wife, Senator Stella Oduah and was also terminated by her when she got fed up with him, saying such a character cannot be trusted with the mandate of a local council let alone a state like Edo.
“Ogiemwonyi’s political career was initiated by Stella Oduah who was then his wife. She also ended his political career by withdrawing the ministerial appointment she once nominated him to hold. Oduah has since dumped him, bringing his brief venture into politics to an end. So, you can see that this man who cannot manage a woman and his home certainly cannot run even a local government let alone a state like Edo with all our historical and contemporary sophistication.
Osagie also said that Imuse is not an executive member of the Edo State chapter of the APC and has no right to make statements on behalf of the party in the state, while alleging that Imuse is a member of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a body which he tried to use to factionalise the APC in Edo State.
“One Imuse addressed the press purportedly speaking on behalf of the Edo APC. We want to inform the public and Edo people that Col. Imuse is not an executive member of the APC in Edo State and he has no right to make any statement on behalf of the party. We urge all Nigerians to disregard his comments, as they are not only a nullity but of no effect whatsoever,” he said.
Lawyers knock Judiciary over conflicting judgment
Some lawyers have however knocked the judiciary over the two conflicting judgments. JusticeDanlami Senchi of the Abuja High Court had on Wednesday ordered a temporary suspension of Oshiomhole, pending the determination of a suit pending before the court.
The court gave the order following an application of interlocutory injunction asking the court to suspend Oshiomhole, having being suspended as a member of the APC from his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State. The application was filed by Mustapha Salihu and five others through their counsel Oluwole Afolabi.
However, in a conflicting judgment on the same subject matter, Justice A. Lewis- Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano ordered parties in the suit to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and disposal of the motion on notice filed before the court. Reacting on the two orders, an Abuja based lawyer, Chief Loye Olowokere said judges should not be too eager to grant every ex-parte application brought by lawyers.
“Law is not that an ass as some people think, and assuming it even has the semblance of an ass, those who administer or practice it, that is, the lawyers and judges aren’t asses. Decisions of courts should be based primarily on precedents and the imperatives of relevant statutes and not really on whims and caprices of judges and lawyers. “There are laid down procedures and precedents for the grant of an ex parte order by any judge.
That is, the applicant must establish a case of extreme urgency; the circumstances must be compelling. “He mustn’t have been tardy; he mustn’t be guilty of delay, etc. But it appears to me that all these imperatives aren’t being followed or respected nowadays as ex parte orders fly all over and from most of our courts to the embarrassment of the legal profession. “We even see instances of judges granting ex parte orders where the statutes clearly forbid them from doing so. Some lawyers have also thrown caution to the winds by applying for ex parte orders on behalf of clients in clearly ridiculous situations. “It appears we are reenacting the ugly days that led to the cancellation and annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election through an ex parte order, and Gen Sanni Abacha mischievously stated that he sacked the Ernest Shonekan interim national government in order to save the judiciary from plunging the country into anarchy”.
In his own reaction, a law lecturer, Dr. Godman Ebisike, said due to the very large expanse of Nigeria’s land mass and its attendant communication hiccups, it appears in genuine situations that conflicting judgment in rare cases cannot be avoided.
“But the present strain or feature of conflicting judgement in the Oshiomhole’s case arises from forum shopping,” he said, saying that conflicting orders are avoidable if “forum shopping” based on selfish interests is jettisoned.
“In my view, cases of contract and tort can only be commenced either where the defendant resides or where the cause of action occurred. If not, then the parties should have recourse to the state high court where the cause of action arose or where the defendant resides. Another lawyer, Femi Adeoye, said the conflicting decisions in the Oshiomhole’s cases are, “indubitably the consequence of a brazen abuse of process by the parties involved.” According to him, following the institution of the first action, it amounted to an abuse of process for the second action to be filed on the same subject. To him, the second action ought to have been subsumed in the first suit.
“The court ought to have declined jurisdiction in the second action provided the existence of the first action was brought to its attention as I expected it would have been done. If this was done and the judge in the second action nevertheless decided to proceed, then the judge would have acted improperly and should be sanctioned appropriately.
‘We are ready to pardon, re-admit erring members’ Governor Obaseki, has however said that the state chapter of the party is willing and ready to pardon and readmit erring members who sincerely return in remorse while assuring the people that his administration will not relent in efforts at improving education, infrastructure, healthcare and other sectors of the state’s economy. Obaseki said this while speaking to party faithful and leaders in Edo South Senatorial District of the state, where he noted that the party will commence registration of new members from Monday to strengthen the party ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
“This gathering is to send you back to your units, wards, Local Government Areas, and state levels to strengthen the party. Our goal is to get not less than 500,000 card-carrying members of the party before June 2020. It will be a shame for any unit leader who can’t boast of 100 members in each unit. “The APC is one; my quarrel with Oshiomhole is that he listened to people and created division in the party. I called him to dissociate from the group and speak up but he refused till today.
I am not a happy person with the judgment from Abuja; it should not have gotten to this point. “For our brothers who have been misled, if they retrace their steps, the party is big enough to accommodate us all, he said, while calling on all APC members in the state to continue to embrace peace. “From Monday, the various registration teams will visit your wards and units. Our goal is to bring a new generation of leaders into our party, the APC. We need more people on our side to enable us to move forward,” he noted.
Clear your name, Edo govt tells Ize-Iyamu
The state government also charged Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to clear himself of the heavy burden of a N700million case hanging around his neck while arguing that the former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no grounds to comment on any issue bordering on the APC in Edo State because he is not a member of the party. Osagie who made the allegation said: “Just as we have seen with the case of Oshiomhole, who was suspended from his ward, an action upon which the FCT High Court judgement was based, you can only become a member of the party from the ward level