Condemns restraining order against party chairman, legal adviser
All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, has called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to review the recent ex parte order given by Justice D.S. Kio of the state High Court, where he restrained two officials of the party from office and sanction him.
The party made the call during a press briefing at the State Party Secretariat in Port Harcourt with its 16 Executive.
The High Court had earlier issued an order restraining the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Emeka Beke and Barr. Iheanyichukwu Dike the legal Adviser from parading themselves as state Executives.
(court) granted the party’s Deputy Chairman, Omiette Ederebo, to act as the chairman of the state APC pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Briefing newsmen, the APC leaders said the party was not comfortable with the court proceedings on that Tuesday, April 12, 2023, where the presiding judge, Justice Kio, gave the injunction restraining the two party leaders.
State Publicity Secretary, Nwauju, who read the address, said:
“From the information available to us, the court started sitting at about 11.00 hours on Tuesday, April 12, 2023, adjourned for two hours to 1pm; then, asked for another 45 minutes break which turned out to be four hours.
“Before the four hours adjournment, Justice D.S. Kio in open court reminded Mr. Solomon Umoh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), counsel for applicants, of the directive by the NJC to judges as touching the granting of ex parte injunctions without notifying interested parties, especially in politically-exposed matters.
“We have it on good authority that within the dramatic four hours that it took Justice D.S. Kio to decide on an ex parte application, obvious prebendal compromises were reached that led to such a fatal decision to grant an order to persons who deceived the court into believing they were acting not just for themselves, but on behalf of the State Executive Council of the APC in Rivers State, which by constitutional implication involves members of the State Working Committee, statutory members of our party like the LGA chairmen and secretaries, former and serving members of the National Assembly, former and serving principal officers of the State House of Assembly who are members of the party.
“We can confirm that at no time did either the State Executive Council or State Working Committee of the party meet to deliberate, consider or endorse the setting up of any panel whatsoever to investigate or suspend any officer of our party, none the least the State chairman or Legal Adviser.”
Nwauju said it was, therefore,
criminal to drag the State Executive Council into such shameful adventure knowing too well the provisions of Article 21 (D) (V) of the party’s constitution.
“Therefore, those who went to Justice D.S. Kio’s court did not have the blessing of the APC in Rivers State, to do so and we never donated authority to any one of them to act on our behalf.
“Therefore, we condemn in very strong terms the impersonation of a very important organ of our great party as we shall do all within the law to correct this willful misrepresentation and scandalization of our names and offices as duly elected officers of the party.
“On the strength of the above verifiable and immutable facts, we demand as follows: That the National Judicial Council do take notice of the infractions committed by Justice D.S. Kio by willfully ignoring the provisions of Order 42 Rule 3(2) of the Rivers State Civil Procedure Rules 2023, which states inter alia “No application for an injunction shall be made ex-parte unless the applicant files with it a motion on notice in respect of the application.
“That the NJC investigates the circumstances surrounding the granting of an ex-parte order in a political matter that is purely an (intra party affair) without urgency, taking cognizance of numerous judgements by the Supreme Court which recognizes the powers of political parties to regulate themselves as social clubs (Amina Augie JSC in Aguma Vs APC 2021).
‘That the NJC punishes the said Justice D.S. Kio of the Rivers State High Court for flouting/disregarding/abandoning its own circular to judges on the above subject matter.
“That the NJC punishes Justice D.S. Kio for utterly ignoring the Article 21 of the APC Constitution which should have pointed his court to the fact that due process was never followed in the “suspension” of these two officers of our party.
“1n his ruling, Justice D.S. Kio held that the matter before him was not an internal affair of the APC, thereby, going into the merit of the case at ex-parte stage. The NJC has to ask Justice D.S. Kio to explain this atrocious conduct by a judicial officer.
“We also want to bring to the notice of the NJC plans by the said Justice D.S. Kio to further expand the scope and shelf-life of the restraining order by converting it into judgement in exchange for further financial gratifications.”