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APGA : A’Court reserves judgment on Okorie’s suit

By  Ise- Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja,  yesterday reserved judgment indefinitely  in the appeal by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) founding National Chairman, Chekwas Okorie, in which he is challenging his  expulsion from the party by Chief Victor Umeh-led faction.

This was after counsel to both parties in the case adopted their briefs of argument. In the appeal, Okorie is challenging the decision of an Abuja High Court, which affirmed his expulsion from APGA for alleged anti-party activities.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, had held that Okorie expulsion was in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of APGA.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Okorie appealed against same. The respondents are APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and National Secretary Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.

At the hearing yesterday, counsel to Okorie, Chris Uche (SAN) prayed the court to reverse the decision in favour of his client.

But counsel to the respondents, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) urged the court to disallow the appeal.

According to him, the appellants violated Order 17 Rule 5 of the court in their brief of argument by raising new issues, without seeking the leave of the court. Ikwueto argued that the appellants cannot raise arguments abandoned in the original brief and notice of appeal, contending “the finding of facts made from evidence before the trial court cannot be changed or controverted”.

Replying on point of law, Uche contended that the submissions of the respondents counsel were misconceived, as he did not raise new issues in his brief, as it dealt strictly with all the arguments arising from the respondents’ brief.

He urged the court to discountenance the argument of the respondents.

It will be recalled that at the last sitting, the Appeal Court rejected the application for stay of execution of the judgement of the trial court brought by Okorie. Justice Aboki said “for the benefit of the people here in the open court, we will not hear the application for stay of execution and will never grant it.”


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