Daily Trust (Abuja)

9 February 2013

Nigeria: Court Removes Umeh As Apga Chairman

Enugu — The National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA led by Chief Victor Umeh as National Chairman, was removed yesterday by an Enugu State High Court presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike.

The court declared the February 10, 2011 election and the party's national convention that produced the current members of the National Executive Committee as "unconstitutional, null and void."

Also, it restrained Umeh from regarding himself as the National Chairman of the party henceforth.

As a way of filling the vacuum created by the judgment, Justice Umezulike directed the NEC of the party, which has been dissolved by the order, to meet and fix a date for the election of new NEC members to pilot the affairs of the party.

Umezulike, who made these orders while delivering judgment in the suit filed by an expelled member of the party in Enugu State, Mr. Jude Okuli, held that the tenure of Umeh and his executive ended on December 2, 2010.

He explained that since the party failed to conduct a valid election that could have produced another executive, the party is deemed not to have a valid executive in place since the expiration of the tenure of that executive.

However, reacting to the development, Umeh said the judgment did not come to him as a surprise, as he has reached the same conclusion even before trial commenced as earlier published by the national dailies.

Umeh said, "It is very clear that Justice Umezulike is very confused in his conclusion. He voided the National Convention held by APGA on February 10, 2011 and sacked the entire members of the National Working Committee elected with me. He declared the election a nullity and turned around to make an order that the NEC of APGA should elect another executive of the party. First of all, if you remove the entire National Working of you have practically left the party without any leadership. So, who is going to convene the meeting to elect a new executive," he asked.

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