By Tony Edike
ENUGU—NATIONAL Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, has appealed against the ruling of an Enugu High Court which extended its interim order restraining him from taking steps to convene executive committee meetings of the party at all levels.
In the notice of appeal filed by his lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, before the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, Umeh contended that the trial Chief Judge erred in law and acted without jurisdiction when “suo moto” (in his own initiative), the lower court extended the duration of the order ex-parte made on July 25, 2012, to last till September 17, 2012.
The appellant noted that under Order 39 Rule 3 (3) and (4) of the High Court rules of Enugu State 2006, an order ex-parte shall abate after seven days and where it is to be extended on the application of a party shall “not be for a period exceeding seven days from the day the extension is granted.”
Stressing that the extension of the ex-parte order on July 31, 2012, was to last and “endure” till September 17, 2012, Umeh insisted that the trial Chief Judge’s court acted without jurisdiction in extending the ex-parte order to last till the said date, more so when parties in the suit did not request for such extension.
The APGA chairman maintained that the trial judge erred in law and thereby occasioned a substantial miscarriage of justice in extending the tenure/duration of the court order ex-parte on July 31, 2012.
Umeh said: “There was no application made by any of the parties, including the Plaintiff/Respondent, seeking for an extension of the ex-parte order made by the trial judge on July 25, 2012. The order was granted by the Chief Judge ‘suo moto’.
“The order extending the tenure/duration of the ex-parte order is in violation of Order 39 Ruule 3 (4) of the High Court rules of Enugu State.”
He, therefore, sought from the Court of Appeal an order setting aside the order made by the learned trial judge on July 31, 2012, extending the interim order of injunction to September 2012 and in place thereof, an order vacating/discharging the order ex-parte made on July 25, 2012.
Listed as respondent in Umeh’s notice of appeal is Jude Okoli Ejike in whose favour the lower court granted the order, which halted the National Executive Committee, NEC meeting of APGA slated for Abuja yesterday.