Any congress in Rivers is contempt of court – Dep state chairman
By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – THE rescheduled Ward Congress of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was held yesterday in Rivers State by the party leader and Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi’s camp amidst warning of contempt of court by the State Deputy Chairman, Peter Odike.
Odike in a statement, warned the national leadership to halt yesterday’s congress on account of a court order and suit over the rancour trailing the previous Ward and local government area, LGA, Congresses, a position adopted by Sen Magnus Abe’s half of the divided Rivers APC which stayed away from the exercise.
Odike’s warning to Chief John Oyegun, national chairman and the all party faithful noted that, “As law-abiding faithful, we (Abe’s allies) understand that the issue of conducting APC congresses is sub-judice with an order restraining further Congresses in Rivers pending determination of the substantive suit.
“We are therefore constraint to obey the order of the court in line with change mantra of our great party. Therefore anyone who does anything in the name of congress today or any other day contrary to a subsisting court order in Rivers may be doing so in contempt of court and must be prepared to face the consequences”
In tandem with the Deputy State Chairman’s warning, Abe’s allies of the Rivers APC, in a meeting at the Port Harcourt 2019 governorship campaign office of Abe, said holding any congress under the circumstance was an illegality in which they would not partake, just as they described Oyegun’s letter ordering the rescheduled congress as “fake”
Member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency, Chidi Wikioha, said, “I will not participate in illegality. Besides, we heard of a statement written by the National Chairman and Secretary canceling the previous Ward and LG Congresses and ordering fresh ones. Even the said statement was not dated, there was no party seal on it and it was not signed by the Legal Adviser. So you can say that the purported statement is fake.”
Former Attorney General of Rivers State and estranged confidant of Amaechi, Worgu Boms said, “Guidelines for the congresses have not been amended in any way. The guideline provides for forms to be filled and submitted within 24 hours prior to the congresses. The congress they are talking about now is holding less than 24 hours. Secondly, hours are provided for appeals in cases of complains arising from the process.
“There is no time for a meeting with persons charged with the responsibility to conduct the congresses. It is impracticable to fix congresses in quick succession of days. Even if all these were well handled, there is a crucial and major roadblock to what they are doing. It is suit No PHC/78/2018, subsisting in the High Court of Rivers State”
Congress Committee says exercise orderly
Amidst the dissenting voices, National Congresses Committee of the APC in Rivers State said the cancellation of previous exercises and reordering of fresh Congresses in Rivers is proof of APC’s commitment to the success of democracy.
The Chairman of the committee, Joseph Dogo, while supervising the rerun ward congress at Obio/Akpor Ward 16, in Port Harcourt metropolis said, “This election is a clear testimony that APC is committed to the success of democracy in Nigeria. We thanked all members for being law abiding, participating in line with the rules of the party.”