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Okuli, staunch member of APGA, Enugu chapter replies A’Court

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From CHIDI NNADI, Enugu

Few days after Governor Peter Obi’s faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) said it would go to the Supreme Court over the Appeal Court ruling that returned Chief Victor Umeh as national chairman, the Enugu State chapter of the party has frowned at the judgment of the appellate court.

The party, in a statement issued yesterday in Enugu by its state Chairman, Mr. Sochima Nwachukwu, said it was dissatisfied with how the Appeal Court handled the suit filed by Chief Umeh, upturned Justice Innocent Umezuruike’s judgment at the lower court, which was in favour of Ichie Jude Okuli.

It wondered how the Appeal Court could describe Okuli as a mere member of the party, who lacked locus standi to institute a case.

“How can you describe a financial and card-carrying member as a mere member or mere Nigerian. The man in question was the party’s councilorship candidate for Abor ward in 2003. He was former Udi Council party chairman,” the party insisted.

Nwachukwu maintained that Okuli had been a consistent party member for 11 years, counting from 2002 till date.

On his part, Okuli described the Appeal Court’s judgment of July 15, as a  Sallah gift to Umeh.”

His words: “It will be important for Justices Paul Galinge and Tom Yakubu to describe to Nigerians who a mere party man is or a mere Nigerian.

“In 2011, Mr Collins Amalu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sued its then national chairman, Dr Okwesileze Nwodo, at the same Enugu State High Court.

“If Amalu had the locus standi to institute a legal case against his former national chairman of the PDP and the same Enugu State High Court heard him and had jurisdiction, then why would the justices of the Appeal Court question my suing Umeh.

“Why then is the Court of Appeal saying that I, Jude Okuli, do not have the locus standi and Justice Innocent Umezuruike (of the Enugu State High Court) do not have the jurisdiction over interpretation of laws.”

Okuli said since Justices Galinge and Yakubu failed to give them justice in the matter, they would head for the Supreme Court “where we shall obtain justice.”

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