—-GOT INTERIM INJUNCTION STOPPING WARD, LGA AND STATE CONGRESSES
There is petition of internal battle in 2018 which engulfed All Progressives Congress-APC Rivers state chapter has reared its ugly head again putting stoppage to the National Working Committee-NWC’s recently announced Wards, Local Government Areas and state congresses.
Supreme Court of Nigeria had in several court rulings about Ibrahim Umar and 22 others declared that the Congresses held by Rivers state APC prior to the 2019 General elections remained null and void. While the current Minister for Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi admonished APC faithful in Rivers state to get ready for ward, Local Government Areas and state Congresses, National Working Committee of APC national Headquarters Abuja set up a 5-Man Caretaker Committee led by Mr. Ogbougba to supervise Rivers State Chapter and mandated them to organize Congresses on September 17th, 21st and 28th, 2019 in the 319-Wards, 23-Local Government Areas and State. Irked by this action, Ibrahim Umar and 22 other aggrieved members of Rivers state APC approached Rivers state Judiciary Port Harcourt Judicial Division in a Suit no. PHC/3093/19 with an Interim Ex Parte injunction on 12th of September, 2019 stopping the said Congresses until the determination of the current case. Their Counsel Henry A. Bello approached Port Harcourt High Court with ORDER of Interim Injunction All Progressives Congress the Defendant stated thus “An Order of Interim Injunction restraining the Defendant whether by its officers, Agents, Committee, Nominees or Assigns from conducting Ward, Local Government Areas and State Congresses in Rivers state scheduled for September 17th, 2019, September 21st, 2019 and September 28th, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.
The entire Court document signed by Patricia N. Victor-Nwoka Esq Assistant Chief Registrar (Litigation) which was served on national Headquarters of APC National Secretariat 40B lantyre Street, Wuse II, Abuja Nigeria which reads “After hearing H.A Bello Esq. of Counsel for the claimants there being no appearance for the Defendants. It is ORDERED as Follows: An ORDER is hereby made abridging the time within which the defendants may enter appearance and responses to the Originating Summons to three (3) days after service of the Originating Summons upon it.
An Order is also hereby made abridging the time for response by the Claimants in points of Law to processes of the Defendants to 24-hours after service of requisite processes.
An ORDER is hereby made for accelerated hearing and determination of the Originating Summons in the Suit.
In view of the fact that the period of the vacation will expire on the 17th instant, it will not be practicable to expeditiously hear the Originating Summons during the period of vacation. Accordingly the prayer to have the Originating Summons fixed for hearing during the vacation is hereby not granted.
Subject to the above ORDERs, Leave of Court is hereby granted allowing the matters in this case to be heard during the period of the vacation. Given at Port Harcourt, under the seal of the Court in the Hand of the Presiding Judge this 12th day of September, 2019.”
Continuing the court ORDER stated thus, “After Hearing H.A Bello Esq. of Counsel for the Claimants-there being no appearance for the Defendants it is ORDERED as Follows:
An order is hereby made that all parties in the case do maintain status quo in relation to the subject matter of the proceedings in the suit, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory Injunction in this suit.
Time is hereby abridged within which the Defendant may face response processes to the motion on Notice in three (3) days after service of the Motion on Notice on it.
This case is adjourned to the 17th September, 2019 for the Motion on Notice filed12th September, 2019”
With the above, the Congresses put on hold by a Port Harcourt High Court it is battle royale in its phase two in 2019.