Embattled National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Umeh, yesterday, prayed the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division to set aside last Friday's verdict by an Enugu State High Court which removed him and sacked the National Working Committee (NWC).
He also filed a motion on notice before the Enugu High court asking for an order staying the execution of the February 8, 2013 judgment delivered by the State Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike, in the suit brought against him by one Jude Okuli pending the determination of the appeal.
Umeh averred that Umezulike had made an order of injunction against him as the National Chairman of APGA as well as the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, and stressed that "unless by an order of this Honourable Court, irreversible damage will be done to the defendant/appellant/applicant as well as APGA if the judgement/orders of this Honourable court are not stayed pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal."
In a 21-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion personally deposed to by Chief Umeh, he told the court that prior to the delivery of the judgment by the Enugu Chief Judge, he had appealed against the proceedings of the court including the order dismissing "my application seeking to disqualify this Honourable court from continuing with the hearing and determination of this suit for manifest violation of my constitutional right to fair hearing.
"By my notice of appeal filed on October 9, 2012 (the Appeal entered as CA/E/14/2013 I sought from the Court of Appeal inter alia for an Order "remitting this case for hearing de novo before another judge of the Enugu State High Court..."
He further told the court that unless the judgment of the lower court was stayed, "I will be adversely affected and prevented from continuing to carry out my statutory duties as the National Chairman of APGA before the hearing and determination of any Appeal against the judgment of this Honourable Court and thereby render nugatory my pending Appeal."
He also expressed total dissatisfaction with the decision of the Enugu State Chief judge in the matter and said that he erred in law by dismissing his notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of his court to entertain Okuli's suit, and added that the court "erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it held that it had the jurisdiction to entertain this suit."
He further told the appellate court that by setting aside the decision reached by APGA at its National Convention held on February 10, 2010, "the trial court acted without jurisdiction and thereby reached an erroneous conclusion when it granted reliefs not claimed by any party before it."
It would be recalled that the Enugu State Chief Judge had in his ruling last Friday voided the National Convention of APGA held on 10th February 2011 during which the current National Working Committee of the party was elected declaring that the tenure of Chief Umeh ended since December 2, 2010 having not been validly re-elected for another tenure.