By Our Reporter
The inconclusive legal infractions rocking Rivers state chapter of All Progressives Congress-APC continues into 2021 and may mar the chances of the leader of the party in Rivers state being the serving Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi participating in the 2023 Presidential Primary election unless he complies to the Supreme Court of Nigeria judgment of 2020 concerning Ibrahim Umar and others and Moses and nine others who legitimately purchased Forms for election into the wards, Local Government Areas and state Congresses but were illegally stopped without issuance of Forms paid for and thereby denied participation. Our reporter who had been following up the Rivers state APC chapter 2018 Wards Congresses and its litany of legal matters has it that it is grand norm that should Ibrahim Umar and Dele Moses and their co party members loyal to Distinguish Senator Magnus Ngei Abe participate in any delegate election the incumbent Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi may not get support from these loyalists of Senator Magnus Abe, otherwise the question here is What is Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi afraid of should he allow Ibrahim Umar and others including Dele Moses and 9 others?
In the words of Barrister Worgu Boms “The Court affirmed, in what is now the cornerstone on which the agitation for internal Democracy in APC Rivers rests, the rights of Ibrahim Umar and several thousands of our party members who paid for forms but were denied the forms to participate in the congresses could not validly hold without their participation. In that Judgment the Court described as Stupid the approach and conduct of the leadership of the party in the matter and that no one should expect to benefit from such. As it stands, the decision of this Judgment of Supreme Court was in affirming the rights of the Ibrahim Umar and thousands of others, remains unchanged and cannot ever be altered by anyone no matter how highly placed as the Judgement of the Supreme Court, according to the Supreme Court itself, is for all time and for all ages”
What is the way out of this doldrum, if one may ask? The former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice during Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s administration, Barrister Worgu Boms said “The rights of all the Ibrahim Umars who paid for Forms to contest for the Congresses are preserved for as long as it takes to organize the Congresses and until the Congresses are validly held with their participation unless they themselves decide not to participate. It is a decision that can never be academic. It will stand until it fulfils that for which it was decided. Moreover, when that time comes, they will not need to pay for forms having previously paid for the same.”.
It is worthy of note to enlighten citizens of Rivers state and APC members and their supporters the crux of these legal tussles. After the Supreme Court of Nigeria decided on Ibrahim Umar and others V APC another group comprising Dele Moses who paid for the Forms for the same Delegate Congresses but were not issued, filed separate suit at a Port Harcourt High Court with declarative prayer that whenever the Congresses are holding that it should include only those of them who paid for Forms at that relevant period in 2018, in accordance to the party Guidelines as validly stated. Barrister Chris Worgu Boms stated thus “The learned Trial Judge, after hearing from Dele Moses and his aggrieved group and after hearing our party, the APC, represented by a Senior Advocate, agreed with Dele Moses and Co and granted them the reliefs exactly as sought, i.e that only those who bought Forms at the relevant time would be the only ones validly to participate in the congresses whenever they would hold. It is this Judgement of the Honourable Justice George Omereji, then of the High Court, now retired, that the APC appealed against. They did not like the judgment. They want those who didn’t pay for forms then, to come now to pay and participate when ab initio, they did not issue Forms to the Dele Moses and Ibrahim Umars who obeyed the party Guidelines and showed interest in serving the party by paying as and when due, according to the party Guidelines.“
On Tuesday, 29th of December, 2020 Appeal Court Of Nigeria at its Headquarters at Abuja ruled on the case of Dele Moses and 9 others V APC dismissed the Appeal by APC which is the Appellant that is those supporting the Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. The Appeal court in its Judgement said time for the Appellant case to be heard had expired while upholding the Preliminary Objection of Lawyers to Dele Moses. APPEAL COURT stated that the Notice of Objection filed by the Respondents that is Dele Moses’ Lawyer, challenging the Jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate on the Appellants appeal is well founded and is HEREBY UPHELD. In the words of the Court of Appeal Judges “…”having found that this Court has lost jurisdiction to adjudicate on the Appellant’s appeal since it emanated from a Pre-election matter that ought to be determined within 60-days from the date of the Judgment of the lower Court, the Appellants’ Appeal is hereby struck out for want of jurisdiction”.