Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Anambra 2017: Obiano eyes Labour Party as APGA crisis deepens

Image result for pictures of gov Obiano, Agbaso and Oye


By Okechukwu Onuegbu

The lingering leadership tussle bedeviling the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) could prevent the party from conducting a unified primary that can produce its candidate for the Anambra governorship election slated for November 18, 2017.

That was even as some indication shows that Governor Willie Obiano might dump the crisis ridden APGA to Labour Party having unsuccessfully tried to pitch interest with APC or resolve the APGA imbroglio. 
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had mandated political parties contesting the poll to conduct their primaries between July 22 and September 2, 2017 and there are no indications yet that the crisis would be resolved soon.
Oye Restraining Order:
With APGA chairmanship position still being contested in various courts in Anambra and Enugu, it is less likely that Governor Willie Obiano’s bid to fly the party’s flag in the crucial November poll, unopposed, would materialize.
The reason is not far-fetched. The Chief Martins Agbaso led faction, which was declared the authentic leadership of the party by an Enugu State High Court last May insists that the second-term chasing Obiano must meet its stringent demands first to be deemed qualified to emerge candidate of the party.
Inside sources, say following a breakdown in reconciliation efforts as a result of Obiano’s refusal to yield to Agbaso conditions, including an outrageous demand of several billions of Naira, the Victor Oye faction activated its ‘Plan B’ which was to obtain a concurrent court judgement.
The Oye faction eventually got much needed reprieve from Nnewi High Court presided over by Justice Chukwudi C. Okaa. In a brief judgment delivered on Tuesday, July 18, Justice Okaa barred the Agbaso faction from conducting the party’s primary. The motion was filed by Victor Oye and 21 other APGA stalwarts on the side of Governor Willie Obiano.
Oye group, however lost out on the motion on notice slated for judgment on Monday, July 24, 2017 as Justice Okaa struct it out same date and adjourned the case to Friday..
The camp also lost out on its bid to get Police and INEC backout of order of mandamus as the Police and INEC same Monday detached from the court judgment.

Agbaso victory:
News48hrs.com recalls that Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice A.R. Ozoemena on May 22, 2017 granted an order of mandamus, compelling INEC and police to abide by the decision of APGA in recognizing Chief Martin Agabso as the acting National Chairman of the party instead of Oye.
Agbaso, in line to order of mandamus, conveyed his letter of party primary slated to hold on August 17, 2017 to the electoral body, notifying the Commission of their planned primaries for November 18 Anambra governorship election, as well as the appeal court ruling affirming the order of mandamus given by the Enugu high court to their favour.
However, Justice Okaa, while granting Oye’s application, restrained the INEC, Chief Okechukwu Nkoloagu, Comrade Jerry Obasi and Comrade Chuks Nwogu as defendants, their agents, privies or otherwise, from taking any steps towards organizing, conducting or holding any congress or primary election in the name of APGA, for selection or nomination of gubernatorial candidate for Anambra 2017 poll pending the hearing and determination of the substantive motion on notice it adjourned to Monday, July 24th, 2017.
The Justice also stated in paragraph 5 of the judgment that, “Oye & 21 others (plaintiffs/applicants) shall enter into undertaking to pay the cost of N500,000 if at the end, the court found that it should not have made this experte order,” noting also that the experte order lasts for only 7 days.
Reacting to the judgment, Prince Ukaegbu Esq., the National Publicity Secretary of APGA in Agabso’s camp, insisted that they would go ahead with their August 17th planned party primary and other activities of APGA as the order lacked merit.
According to Ukaegbu, there reason was because Justice Chukwudi Okaa is the father of Governor Willie Obiano’s Special Adviser on pharmacy, Valentine Okaa, who is also the Caretaker Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) illegally constituted by the governor.
“While the party is not perturbed by the silliness of the said Order and those behind it, APGA wishes to seize this opportunity to allay any misgivings that the general public, supporters and membership of the party may harbour. Firstly, no Order of court was bought by Victor Oye and his band of confusionist and no Order was made against the All Progressives Grand Alliance by the Nnewi High Court barring her from conducting her primaries for the 18th November, 2017 governorship election.
“Secondly, no court can stop APGA from holding primaries to elect her candidate for the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State. APGA also wishes to draw the attention of our members and the general public to the provisions of section 87 (11) of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended, which provides thus, ‘nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general elections under this Act pending the determination of any suit’.”
Obiano camp confident:
Meanwhile, the mood in Obiano’s camp has lifted following a successful procurement of restraining order. While celebrating the judgment on social media, the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Social Media, Ifeanyi Aniagoh, has expressed confidence that his boss would wriggle out of the legal imbroglio.
Aniagoh also urged the hard-fighting Agbaso camp to sully the image of the Justice whose judgment is being celebrated by ‘die-hard APGA faithfuls worldwide’.
The media aide, argued that the judgment did not restrain APGA from conducting primaries but only restrained Martins Agbaso and his agents from conducting it.
The Governor’s aide also News48hrs.com learnt that the game plan of the Obiano camp is to drag the matter to the Supreme Court, where it expects to conjur up a victory even after the election. Sources familiar with the tactical plan disclosed that Obiano strategists are confident that even if APGA ended up fielding two candidates for the poll and emerge victorious, he (the governor) would eventually be declared the winner at the court.
For this purpose, the services of Chief Victor Umeh, the former National Chairman of APGA is already being sought by the obaino camp, to spearhead the tactical team that would ensure the pendulum of victory swings in the incumbent candidate’s direction.

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