BY TONY EDIKE

…stops him from expelling, suspending any member
ENUGU—AN Enugu State High Court, yesterday, restrained the embattled National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh from “taking steps to convoke a national, state, or local government executive committee meeting of the party.”

Trial judge and Chief Judge of the state, Justice Innocent Umezulike, who granted the injunction, restrained Umeh from expelling any member of APGA pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice fixed for hearing on July 31, 2012.

It ordered that a substituted service of all originating processes in the suit be served on the defendant/respondent by pasting it on the entrance of the compound of the defendant’s house situated at Gerald Street, Ekulu East Quarters by Ogui Junction, Enugu within the jurisdiction of the court.

A former chairman of Udi Local Government Chapter of APGA, Ichie Jude Okoli, had approached the court, complaining that the actions of Umeh “is capable of drowning the aspirations of the party and some of its members, including himself; that it will cause irreparable damage and damages to the party.”

Okoli’s suit, recalled that Umeh was the National Treasurer of the party, who assumed the office of National Chairman in 2006 for a four-year term, following the removal of Chief Chekwas Okorie, adding that by the virtue of the constitution of APGA, the four year term expired in 2010.

Okoli averred that the constitution equally provided that the a national convention be convoked for the purpose  of electing new officers for the party in the National Executive Committee, State Executive Committee and Local Government Executive Committee after the expiration of four years.

He stated that despite the expiration of the tenure of Umeh in 2010, he continued in office without any valid national convention  believed that his actions since were illegal and ultra vires the constitution of the party and had the tendency of escalating into serious political quagmire unless restrained by the court.

He further maintained that Umeh was only interested in perpetuating himself in office and deliberately, contrary to the constitution as he allegedly refused to listen to other prominent members of the party who have requested that he convened a national convention and “has illegally continued receiving grants meant for the party from INEC, without rendering account to anybody.”

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