By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”THE Chief Chekwas Okorie’s faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) insisted yesterday, that the expulsion of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state from the party was irreversible, saying the Governor has finally lost his chances of contesting the 2010 governorship election on the partyâ€™s platform.
The factional National Chairman of the party, Chief Okorie at a news briefing in Enugu, announced the setting up of the Anambra State Congress Committee headed by the national organising secretary, Chief Sydney Dike, with aÂ mandate to conduct primaries for the state that would produce the partyâ€™s candidate for the February 6, 2010 governorship election in the state.
But in a sharp reaction, the Chief Victor Umehâ€™s faction dismissed as laughable the ruling out of Governor Obi from the election by Okorieâ€™s faction,Â noting that having been expelled by the party and his expulsion affirmed by the Federal Capital Territory High Court on April 16, 2008, Okorie lacked the powers to decide who would be the partyâ€™s candidate in any election to be held anywhere in the country.
Umeh said,Â â€œthe Federal Capital Territory High Court on April 16, 2008 affirmed that Chekwas Okorieâ€™s suspension by the party was in accordance with provisions of the Constitution of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).Â That judgment up till today has not been set aside.
â€œThe same judgment said Chekwas Okorie having been expelled from the party can not take any action in the name of APGA.Â The whole import of this judgment is that Okorieâ€™s expulsion from the party has been judicially confirmed and heÂ has since ceased to be a member of the party.
With this judgment subsisting till date, Okorie cannot do anything whatsoever in the name of APGA, including organising a State Congress to choose candidate that will contest election in the name of APGA in Nigeria including Anambra state.
â€œAnd that was why the Federal High Court Abuja on September 1, 2009 halted Okorieâ€™s purported National Convention in the name of APGA.
Anything being done by Okorie in the name of APGA including anybody aiding him to do so remains unlawful. Unless the 1999 constitution allows an individual to nominate a candidate to conduct election in Nigeria without being lawfully sponsored by a political party, the present voyage by Chekwas Okorie and his collaborators will be an exercise in futility,â€ he added.