Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
An Abia High Court has dismissed the newly sworn-in chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, affairming Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe as the duly elected chairman.
Nwankpa was among the 36 state chairmen of the party who were sworn-in by its out-gone national chairman, Chief John Adigun-Oyegun about a month ago in Abuja, the federal capital territory.
Nwankpa and Ndukwe, who have the backings of former governor Orji Kalu and Chief Ikechi Emenike, the chairman/chief executive officer of D.E.R. Ltd, emerged at the parallel state congresses of the party in May.
Justice Collinton Okoroafor, sitting at Okpuala Ngwa in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area dismissed an application by Nwankpa for stay of execution of an order of the court to sack the former executive committee of the party.
It would be recalled that the order had restrained the former committee headed by Nwankpa from conducting ward, local government or state congresses of the party pending the determination an existing matter before the court.
The order had also restrained the national headquarters of the party from dealing with and receiving any list of ward, local government or state delegates submitted by the committee.
Dismissing an application filed by Barrister Perfect Okorie, counsel for the defendant/applicant for stay of execution, Okoroafor added that the order had not been appealed against and dismissed the order for lack of merit.
Okoroafor, who awarded N200.000.00 cost against the defendant/applicant, frowned at newspaper reports where Nwankpa was quoted as having referred to the order as ” a nullity delivered by a kangaroo court.”
Speaking further, the judge described Nwankpa’s attitude as “ irresponsible, reprehensible, and an attempt to ridicule the court to whittle down its power and to declare it a dog that can bark but cannot bite.”
Our correspondent gathered from a reliable source that the Nwankpa-led state delegates were prevented from participating in the just-concluded national convention of the party in Abuja due to the crisis.
Reacting to the ruling, counsel for Ndukwe, Barrister Godwin Chionye, who led two others, said it was obvious that Nwankpa and his supporters were like a drowning man, saying the court had done justice to the matter.
Meanwhile, as at press time, efforts to reach Okorie proved abortive as one of his aides said he was busy trying to obtain a copy of the ruling from the court officials.