The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has waded into the crisis rocking the party in its Cross River State Chapter.
The NWC which described as “ impostors, those, “ parading as factional party executives in Cross River State”, warned them to “desist or face legal charges for impersonation.”
In a statement by the NWC in Abuja on Wednesday, the party affirmed the Cross River State Executive led by the late Chairman, Dr. Mathew Achigbe who died in a ghastly car crash in November 2018.
Sir John Ochala, Achigbe’s deputy had been holding the position in acting capacity.
“The Party’s position is affirmed by a Court of Appeal judgment delivered on 23rd April, 2020, which recognises the Sir John Ochala-led Cross River State Executive as authentic and legitimate,” said Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, National Publicity Secretary of the party in a statement.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justices Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, Adamu Jauro and Peter Olabisi Ige, the Court of Appeal affirmed the Sir John Ochala-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Cross River State Executive as the authentic and recognised executive in the state.
The Appeal Court also nullified an earlier ruling by an Abuja High Court for lacking territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit brought by a supposed factional APC executive in Cross River State.
According to Issa-Onilu, “in affirming the APC National Working Committee (NWC) authority over the election of party executives, the Appeal Court equally affirmed that election of members of a political party by ward, local government area and state congresses to offices in the respective chapters of the party in a state is an internal affair of that party – a position affirmed by the Supreme Court in several previous judgments.”
“The election of members of a political party by ward, local government area and state congresses to offices in the respective chapters of the party in a state is clearly an internal affair of that party. Any dispute as to the validity of such an election or its nullification or cancellation by the National Working Committee of the political party is therefore an internal or domestic affair of that political party.
“The general law is that a political party, being a voluntary organisation or association, disputes over its internal affairs are non justiciable and a court has no jurisdiction to entertain them” the 23rd April, 2020 judgement (CA/A/19/2019) read.”