A factional leader in the Rivers State chapter of the APC and former chief of staff, Government House under the Rotimi Amaechi government, Chief Tony Okocha has said that his faction is ready to go all the way against the faction loyal to the former minister of transportation, in their effort to resist what he calls impunity in the state chapter of the party.
He told TNN in an interview on Wednesday that his group decided to challenge the impunity in the APC after failed efforts to get those he called tin gods to do the right thing.
He said “it was my faction of the APC that went to court. We didn’t file frivolous issues. Issues of unlawful exclusion were made out and there is no remedy in law order than what the federal high court did.
When asked how he felt about the situation of things in the party, he said “I necessarily will feel terrible but does the law care about how I feel? We did all we could to make those who felt that they owned the Party, know that the entire process should be all-inclusive but they refused bluntly. The only option available to us was to seek remedies in court. Impunities must not stand.
On what the development meant to the party, especially having experienced same thing in 2019, he responded thus: “This should be directed at the thin gods.The signs of a possible repeat of the 2019 scenario were palpable. We warned. It fell on deaf ears. I am sure none will imagine that we that we stomached the barefaced injustice.”
He said he expected the Amaechi faction to take the case up to the apex court and that they would be ready to fight to the end. He also dismissed the insinuation that the Rivers State governor must have been the one behind the fight against Amaechi.
“Stop this please. Spews of a defeatist group.Was it the governor of Rivers that refused due process in APC?” The defeated APC faction is at liberty to challenge the judgement at the appellate Court and up to the Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the APC led by Amaechi has urged the people to be calm. In a statement by Sogbeye C. Eli, spokesman, Tonye Cole/Innocent Barikor 2023 Gubernatorial Campaign Council, the party said “we wish to state that the trial Court came to its conclusions regardless of the Court’s attention being drawn to a recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Hon. Monday Iyare Osagie & Ors. Vs. Victor Engham Charles Egbon where the Supreme Court held that it is only an Aspirant who contested a primary resulting from the Congresses that can challenge any irregularities arising from the said Congresses. To our chagrin, the learned trial Court ignored the said judgment of the apex Court and granted all the reliefs sought by the Plaintiffs.
“We are fully aware of and appreciate the intensity of apprehension this judgment has caused our party members given the experience of 2019 and appeal that we all remain calm and keep faith with the Constitution, the Electoral Act 2022, the judicial processes and the party. Party members are further assured that our party immediately began the process of appeal and are confident that the appellate courts would do justice to our case in accordance with the law and judicial precedents by overturning today’s judgment and consequently restore our candidates on the ballot.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the party, Amaewhule Gabriel Chuku, has reaffirmed that his party will be on the ballot paper, and all candidates vying for various positions in the state will go for the election, come 2023.
Amaewhule stated this in an exclusive interview with TNN, shortly after a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, nullified all the primaries conducted by the party, following the claims of exclusion from delegate list, filed by some aggrieved members of the party, believed to be loyal to the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party SDP, Sen. Magnus Ngei Abe.
The APC Chieftain described the pronouncement by the court as ill ruling, bias and unjudiciary.
According to him, “that is ill ruling, the nullification is bias and unjudiciary. The APC did their congress in accordance with electoral law, so I see no reason why there should be such ruling.
“I am sure the APC will go for an appeal and that ruling will be nullified. We know that the judiciary has been biased, for us, we are confident that the Appeal Court will nullify, set aside the judgement of that court.
“The presiding judge went out of the ambit of the law, they have also made, the hope of the common man is no longer guaranteed.”