Aggrieved members of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, including the wife of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, Managing Director of Capital Oil, Chief Ifeanyi Uba, among others, yesterday shunned the reconciliatory meeting convened by the leadership of the party to assuage the feelings of those who lost out during the recent primary for the selection of candidates for the 2019 general elections.
This is as a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State capital, has ordered the leadership of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, to appear before it, November 13, 2018, to prove that there was a gubernatorial primary election in Imo State. Both Ojukwu and Ubah lost out during the primaries for the party’s ticket for Anambra South senatorial zone.
Rancour and acrimony had trailed the controversial primary such that most of those who felt they were cheated had vowed to ensure the downfall of the party as they claimed that despite promises by the leadership of the party, the exercise lacked due process.
According to them, the leadership of APGA ought not to have collected money from the aspirants if it was not interested in organising free and fair primary.
The reconciliatory committee is chaired by vice presidential candidate of APGA, Chief Jerry Chukwueke, with a member of Board of Trustees of the party, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Obegolu, Chief Uzoma Obinyo, Chief Elias Adokwe and Mr. Uche Nwegbo as members.
Incidentally, none of the members of the committee showed up yesterday, fueling speculation that their absence was due to fear of attack by the aggrieved aspirants.
When our reporters visited the APGA secretariat in Awka before the scheduled time of 3.00pm, a large number of canopies and seats were prepared but most of the aspirants failed to turn up.
The few that came, mainly House of Assembly aspirants, vowed to work against the party unless all the monies collected from them in the name of primaries were refunded.
Sensing the charged atmosphere, the state chairman and his executive members hurriedly locked their offices and left. Court summons APGA Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State capital, has ordered the leadership of APGA, to appear before it, November 13, 2018, to prove that there was a gubernatorial primary election in Imo State.
The presiding Judge, Hon. Justice T. G. Ringim, gave the order yesterday, after listening to the submissions and address of the plaintiffs counsel, Mr. L. M. Alozie, SAN.
The development is sequel to the suit, FHC/OW/CS/134/2018, filed by the former Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and 13 other aggrieved gubernatorial aspirants on APGA platform, contesting the alleged emergence of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the governorship candidate of APGA.
The court, on the prayer of the plaintiffs, equally abridged the time, within which the defendants will respond, from 30 days to 14 days. On the mode of service of all the court processes on the defendants, Justice Ringim ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and APGA should be served in their Abuja head offices.
In the case of Senator Araraume, the court okayed substituted service, adding that “it should be pasted on the walls of Destiny Foundation Campaign Organisation, Onitsha Road, Owerri”.
Speaking to newsmen, Chief Ohakim said he was satisfied with the court’s ruling.
“I am very pleased with what happened in court today (yesterday). Can there be party primary without the press and security agencies being there? It is most disappointing that APGA degenerated to the abysmal level of concocting results for a fictitious primary election”, Ohakim said. He recalled with grief that the plaintiffs helped in pumping members into the party, but regretted that “the party leaders failed to manage the surge.”