Hopes by the Rotimi Amaechi led mainstream of rebuilding the APC in Rivers State after the Court of Appeal sacked the Igo Aguma-led factional executive have quickly ebbed away.
In a clear determination to forge on with the crisis, the Aguma led leadership rejected the court judgment as it pledged to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.
The faction has also appointed an acting state chairman to help guide the party while the party’s crisis is solved.
The development came after the Court of Appeal in Abuja sacked Aguma as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party in Rivers State. The appellate court had in its judgment set aside the judgment of Justice George Omereji of the Rivers State High Court which had declared Aguma as chairman of the party in the state.
Aguma led one of the about three tendencies that had recently emerged against Amaechi.
That there was no hope for peace for Amaechi was indicated in the quick rejection of the Court of Appeal judgment.
In rejecting the Appeal Court judgment, the Aguma faction in a statement issued by Aguma’s Media Adviser, Livingstone Wechie, said it would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
He said: “Whereas we have always known this fact and it is undisputable that the case being a pre-election matter has been challenged at the Supreme Court.
“It, therefore, follows being a pre-election matter, the Appeal Court had no jurisdiction to hear the APC Appeal ab initio. The APC Appeal was filed in July 2020 as an afterthought by the National Caretaker Committee, after the Adams Oshiomhole-led Committee which accepted the judgement and communicated same to Rt. Hon. Igo Aguma on the 23rd of June had been dissolved in defiance to National Executive Committee (NEC) directive of the APC.
“The 1999 Constitution as amended makes it clear that pre-election matters are to be filed within 14 days. The APC Appeal is clearly over a month after the judgement was given and as such the Appeal Court had no jurisdiction to hear it in the first instance.
“This is our case. In fact, the Supreme Court has been asked in the earlier Appeal by Ogbobula to determine whether this is a pre election matter. In line with judicial procedures, there is an Affidavit of Facts before the Appeal Court in respect of the Appeals pending at the Supreme Court but the Appeal Court in its wisdom chose to go ahead anyways”.
“May we state for the time being that Rt. Hon. Golden Ben Chioma, the Deputy State Acting/Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC Rivers state shall act as the State Acting Chairman in place of Rt. Hon. Igo Aguma pending the filing of the Appeal at the Supreme Court and it being properly entered.
“We shall not give saboteurs the space to destroy our Party because of the unwholesome and selfish interest of one man styled and christened the godfather of APC Rivers state.”
Meanwhile, Chioma, has enjoined party members to remain calm over the development.
In a statement late on Tuesday, he said:
“We have been briefed on the Court of Appeal judgement today in Abuja. All party faithful in Rivers State should remain calm and resolute as we have already instructed our Lawyers to immediately Appeal against the judgements at the Supreme Court while we continue with our preparations for the 2021 Local Government Election in Rivers state. APC must be on the ballot and there is no going back”