In the last few days, Hon. Igo Aguma has struggled to create the impression, albeit erroneously, that he is still in charge of the Caretaker Committee of the APC in Rivers State. He has also fed the public with a lot of falsehood regarding the decision of the Court of Appeal, to wit that the Court did not order a stay of execution of the judgment of Justice George Omereji.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. The truth is that their Lordships, Justices of the Court of Appeal, ordered a stay of execution of the judgment of Justice George Omereji of the Port Harcourt High Court.
It has become imperative to dispel the false claims of Hon. Igo Aguma and his associates on the basis of facts emanating from the ruling of the Court of Appeal. The ruling states inter allia, “We therefore, from the foregoing. Order as follows :
(1). The Proceedings in this appeal CA/PH/190/2020, is hereby stayed sine die.
(2). The execution or further execution of the Order of the trial court in Suit No : PHC/4355/2019, which is the subject of this appeal, shall, is hereby stayed pending the determination of this appeal”
Contrary to efforts to deceive the public it is evident that the Court of Appeal in its wisdom ordered a stay of execution of the lower Court presided over by Justice George Omereji of the Port Harcourt High Court.
There is no use for Hon. Igo Aguma to pretend that he did not understand the ruling or its wordings. The revered Justices of the Court of Appeal spoke clearly in English and the purport of their unanimous decision cannot be denied.
We have noted the argument that there is a subsisting appeal that is pending at the Supreme Court based on the decision of the Court of Appeal to entertain the case brought before it by Isaac Ogbobula and others.
Again, we rely on the pronouncements of their Lordships, and we quote, “Our position on all the issues argued on those processes is very simple. An affidavit is a statement on oath evidencing facts supplied to the court by the deponent.
“Although our court Rules do not provide specifically for any verifying affidavit or affidavit in simple term to intimate court that a deponent or a party has gone on appeal to the Supreme Court in respect of our interlocutory decisions in this case, there is nothing odd or absurd about it save that the 1st Respondent mastermind of the affidavit is on q fast lane of orchestrating delay in hearing an appeal that is ripe for hearing by this court
The Court of Appeal further stated “Paragraph 8 of the affidavit has informed this court that the record of Appeal has been compiled and transmitted by the 1st Respondent to the Supreme Court and the appeal entered as appeal No: SC/CV/377/2020.
“We are satisfied from the affidavit and the Exhibits that the 1st Resondent has appealed our earlier ruling to the Supreme Court and the appeal has already been entered.
“Although there is no order of the Supreme Court staying proceedings of this court in this appeal, we have been notified in paragraph 9 of the said affidavit that the 1st Respondent has filed a Motion to Stay further proceedings of the Appellant’s appeal before this court pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the Supreme Court.”
Hon. Igo Aguma should, or ought to, understand the context in which the Court of Appeal took this position. It does not in any way negate its decision to stay the execution of the order of the lower Court. After all, the Supreme Court did not, and has not, placed any impediment in the way of the interlocutory decisions reached by the Court of Appeal.
In the circumstance , we urge members of the public, including those who are members of our great party, to ignore the tantrums of Igo Aguma and his friends. In this country, the rule of law holds sway, and a superior court, competent to entertain the case brought before it, has clearly spoken.
Isaac Ogbobula who was pronounced earlier by the National Secretariat is the Caretaker Committee Chairman. Hon Igo Aguma who may have gone upstairs during the pendency of a matter before the Court of Appeal should seize forthwith from parading himself as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the APC in Rivers State. He does not have the locus standi to so to do.
In all, we advice Hon. Igo Aguma not to persist with what could be viewed by the courts as an act of intransigence. He still has the right to pursue his rights under the law and we acknowledge that.
Until he finds what he considers justice, it would be proper if he would restrain himself from parading now that Ogbobula and others are on board by virtue of an order of the Court of Appeal.
We are nonetheless, prepared to welcome him home, should he decide to do so. We congratulate Ogbobula on his victory and urge our brother, Igo Aguma to respect the rule of law.
In the meantime, it is the wish of a great majority of our party members that Senator Andrew Uchendu and Senator Wilson Ake should continue with the peace process that they are currently leading. There is no alternative to peace. Most APC members within and outside Rivers State would want to see a peaceful resolution of the crisis which have worked against their desire for unity within our great party. Our prayers and support are with both Distinguished Senators and all those who are actively in support of a reunion.