From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The All Progressives Congress, (APC), in Enugu State has announced the expulsion of 41 of its members including former military governor Capt. Joe Orji and former Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh from the party.
Other notable individuals who were also expelled include a former Deputy Governorship candidate of the party, Prince Chikwado Chukwunta, Gen. J.O.J Okoloagu, and a former Reps member, Chukwuemeka Ujam.
Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee in the state, Dr. Ben Nwoye who announced this when he addressed journalists on Sunday said that their expulsion was due to an alleged violation of the provision of the party’s constitution.
Nwoye said the members self-expelled themselves from the party by filing a suit in court without first exhausting the internal mechanisms as provided in the APC Constitution.
He said that, “Article 21 (D), Section V of the APC Constitution provides that, “any member who files an action in court of law against the party or any of its officers on any matters relating to the discharge of the duties of the party without first exhausting the avenues for the redress provided for in this constitution shall automatically stand expelled from the party on filing such action and no appeal against expulsion as stipulated in this clause shall be entertained until the withdrawal of the action from court by the member.”
It was learnt that the party members dragged Nwoye before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja seeking his removal from office in the suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2107/2021. They had sought an ex parte order to stop Nwoye from parading himself as the chairman of the party.
However, the vacation judge, Justice Sylvanus Chinedu Oriji refused to grant the interlocutory injunction. Instead, it ordered that the motion on notice and the entire case be assigned to a regular court at the end of vacation for full determination of the matter.
The Judge held that, “The Defendants/Respondents shall be put on notice of the application for injunction. The orders sought in the ex parte application No. M/5317/2021 are refused.”
Speaking on the development, Nwoye said 41 members who filed the suit had automatically expelled themselves from the party.
According to him, “One Gilbert Chukwunta and 40 others filed a claim against me; they sought an ex parte order before an FCT High Court, seeking to remove me as the chairman of the party in Enugu State.
“They sued me and alleged among other things that I was suspended by certain persons, who they attached their signatures, but the learned jurist denied giving the order. He directed them to serve me, but instead of serving me as ordered by the court, they pasted it on my door.
“But what is important is that for those who said that Ben Nwoye has been removed, the removal of Ben Nwoye is now a subject of court, and the court has refused to remove me. I wasn’t there but the learned judge refused to remove me.
“The other point is that the petition which they signed, they forged numerous people’s signatures; one of the people they forged their signature is Mrs. Kate Offor, she never signed a petition seeking to remove me.
“If indeed these individuals did not sign it, those who filed this suit have committed forgery. But if those individuals say that they actually signed it, they have committed fraud because they are not members of APC caretaker committee and that includes Chikwado Chukwunta.
“The next thing is that they have now all expelled themselves from the party; they were deceived into dragging an officer of the party to court.
“They are 41 persons and Chikwado Chukwunta put up an affidavit that he has their consent to file the suit. All of them are now expelled from the party.”
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