By Emma Amaize
ASABA – THE All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State, on Thursday, said the party was not restrained from submitting names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, as speculated in social media platforms and news outlets.
Legal Adviser of the party, E.V. Onojeghuo Esq., in a statement, said: “No order restraining the defendants (APC and National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole) was made by the honourable court.”
“The status quo to be maintained simply means that the State Executive Committee under the chairmanship of Prophet Jones Ode Erue remains the authentic structures in the state.
“It stands logic on the head to assume that the court has technically restrained the defendants by asking parties to maintain status quo when the honourable court has rightly observed that the motion for interlocutory injunction carries the same reliefs as the substantive suit and even refused to entertain the said motion.
“The defendants are, therefore, at liberty to carry out their constitutional duties as there are no legal restraints imposed by the honorable court.
“In the light of the above, we appeal to all faithful members of our great party to remain calm and not be sway by social media pranks as the records of the court are sacrosanct,” he said.
Onojeghuo further explained: “This case was instituted by one Chief Cyril Ogodo who participated and lost the congresses to elect a new executive committee. In his claims before the honorable court, he is seeking amongst other things a declaration as the authentic state chairman of the party and order restraining defendants from submitting names of candidates to INEC.”
“On 16th October 2018, when the case came up, the defendants informed the court of their inability to file responses to the claimants’ application for injunction. After much argument, the case adjourned to today, the 17th of October (Wednesday) for hearing.
“In today’s (Wednesday) proceedings, counsel, George Onaho Esq for the 1st and 2nd defendants (APC and the National Chairman) served their counter affidavit and the notice of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court. The counsel for the claimants O.J. Oghenejakpor asked for a stand down to react to the preliminary objection which was granted.
“On resumption, counsel to the claimants served his reply to the preliminary objection on the counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants whereupon the counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants applied for an adjournment to file a reply on points of law, which was opposed to by O.J. Oghenejakpor who insisted on going on with the motion for interlocutory injunction.
“At this point, the honourable court informed O.J. Oghenejakpor the counsel to the claimants that the motion for interlocutory injunction cannot be taken as the prayers in the motion are substantially the same as the main reliefs in the substantive suit.
“The court thereafter adjourned the matter to 1st and 2nd of November 2018 for accelerated hearing of the substantive case and preliminary objection to be taken together and the parties to maintain status quo,” he added.