Chris Steven, Abuja
The Supreme Court has fixed judgment in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) leadership dispute between Chief Maxi Okwu and Victor Umeh for15th January, 2016.
Lawyers for Okwu, Garba Pwul, SAN, and Oba Maduabuchi adopted their brief of argument and urged the Court to allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal and restore the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja that upheld Okwu as the authentic National Chairman of APGA.
He averred that the lower court erred by ruling on jurisdiction and ignored the merit of the case, stating that Umeh imposed himself on the party for over 10 years in violation of APGA constitution.
Pwul said the fact that Umeh had vacated office did not affect the case instituted in August 2013 and urged the Court to order INEC to recognize Maxi Okwu’s leadership of the party.
Umeh’s counsel Patrick Ikwueto, SAN urged the Court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the Court of Appeal Judgment of 18th June, 2014, that affirmed Umeh as the National Chairman.
He said jurisdiction and merit of the matter were interwoven in the appellate court judgment, adding that APGA was not a party in the case.
Pwul however countered Ikwueto’s submission stating that there was no claim against APGA by the appellants (Okwu and those elected with him in the April 8, 2013 convention at Awka, Anambra State) but against Victor Umeh and Sani Shinkafi who violated the party’s constitution which led to the case filed to remove them from office.
INEC’s brief of argument filed by Ibrahim Bawa SAN was also adopted.
The apex court five-man panel presided by Justice John Fadiyi reserved judgment to 15th January, 2016.