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Asaba court restrains Buni, others from acting as APC caretaker committee members (See details)

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A High Court sitting in Asaba yesterday restrained Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and other members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from acting or parading themselves as the National Caretaker Committee of the party until the determination of a substantive suit before the court.

The court, presided over by Justice Onome Marshal Umukoro, also put on hold, the APC local government congress scheduled for Saturday, September 4, 2021 in Delta State.

APC Deputy Chairman, Olorogun Elvis Ayomanor, leading other officials of the Delta APC, had approached the Court, following the July 10, 2021 controverted Ward Congress, which many members of the party claimed was hijacked by certain elements within the party in the state.

In the ex-parte motion by the Claimants/Applicants, lead counsel, Daubry Ebipade Richard, prayed the court to grant the seven-point reliefs sought, adding that going ahead with the Saturday, September 4, 2021 local government congress in the state, would cause more damage to the persons and interests of his clients.

Principal among the reliefs sought was “An order of interim injunction of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd to 14th Defendants/Respondents from further acting or parading themselves as the members of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the 1st Defendant pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed and served in the suit.

“Alternatively, An order of interim injunction of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd-14th Defendants/Respondents from conducting the Local Government and State Congresses slated for September 4, 2021 or any other date, and other Congresses of the 1st Defendant in Delta State, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed and served.

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“An order of interim injunction of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd to 14th Defendants/Respondents from further acting or parading themselves as the members of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the 1st Defendant pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed and served in the suit.”

Lead counsel to the Defendants/Respondents, Robert Emukpoeruo, SAN, had initially challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit but later on sought that certain parties be joined as co-Defendants/Respondents.

However, counsel to the Claimants/Applicants, Richard, guided the defence counsel to the fact that the matter before the court was an ex-parte motion, which does not require parties’ consideration.

In his brief ruling, Justice Umukoro granted seven (7) days order of interim injunction restraining Governor Buni and the CECPC from conducting the local government and state congresses in Delta State scheduled for September 4, 2021 or any other date, and other Congresses of the APC in Delta State, or parading as National Caretaker Committee of the party, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed and served.

Umukoro also granted that Governor Buni and others at the National leadership be served Originating Summons “by means, to wit, by serving same on any officer or staff of the All Progressives Congress, at the All Progressives Congress National Secretariat at No. 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse, Abuja, and deeming such service in the circumstances of this case.”

While also “granting Leave to the Claimants/Applicants to serve the Originating Summons and all other processes in this suit on the 15th Defendants/Respondents by substituted means to wit by serving same on any officer or staff of the Delta State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress at the All Progressives Congress Delta State Secretariat, Asaba, Delta State and deeming such service proper in the circumstances of this case”.

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Meanwhile, further hearing on the suit was adjourned till September 7, 2021.

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