The Federal High Court Abuja has dismissed the suit challenging the 2021 election of Barr Ugochukwu Agballah as the authentic chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Enugu state.
The suit no FHc/Abj/cv/57/2021 was filled by Group Capt. Orji Joseph Iloabanafor (rtd), plaintiff, against Agballah, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as first, second and third defendants.
The crux of the matter was that Orji challenged the membership status of Agballah and his election as the APC Enugu chairman.
The plaintiff prayed the court to declare him as the consensus candidate of the October 16, 2021 Congress and chairman-elect of APC Enugu.
He further alleged that the office of the chairman was micro-zoned to Aninri/Awgu/Orji River federal constituency as agreed by the stakeholders meeting held on 15/10/2021 summoned by Senator Ken Nnamani.
In proof of his case, he annexed Exhibit 1, which he alleged was a forged document presented to the then National Caretaker Committee of APC by Ugochukwu Agballah.
But Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite, in his judgement last Monday, agreed with the submission of Mr. T.M Ozioko Esq., counsel to the 1st defendant, that issues of the leadership of a political party are within the domestic and internal affairs of the party and such issues are not justiciable and Orji didn’t meet up with the constitutional requirement to participate at the APC Enugu state Congress held in 2021.
The Court also upheld the submission of the counsel to the 2nd defendant (APC) Mr. J. M. Mathew Esq that Orji’s inability to seek redress within the party and his appeal to APC NEC in compliance with Art 13.4 of the Party’s Constitution, was fatal to his case.
The Court also ruled that the plaintiff couldn’t prove the allegation of forgery against Ugochukwu Agballah.
The preliminary objection filed by Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, the lead counsel was sustained and the matter was dismissed on merit.
Following the judgment of the Court, it has been established that Ugochukwu Agballah remains the Enugu State Chairman of APC.