Indictions have emerged that the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) could threaten the swearing in of the next governor of Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano, on March 17.
This possibility arose last week when the rival APGA candidate in the November 16, 2013 governorship election in Anambra State, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, obtained an order from a Federal High Court in Abuja to serve originating summons on Obiano and four others by substituted means.
Obidigbo had in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/118/2014 asked the court, among others things, to make an order of mandatory injunction restraining the 1st defendant, Obiano, from parading himself, representing or holding out himself as the sponsored candidate of the 3rd defendant, in the Anambra State governorship election.
The court is presided over by Justice A. Mohammed
The four other defendants include APGA factional National Chairman, Maxi Okwu; APGA; the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the Chief Judge of Anambra State.
In the suit filed by his counsel, Tairu Adebayo, Obidigbo is seeking the courtâ€™s declaration that following the provisions of Section 177 (c.) of the 1999 Constitution, the 1st defendant (Obiano) was not qualified to participate or take part in the governorship election as he was not sponsored by the 3rd defendant as the candidate of APGA for the election.
The plaintiff is also praying the court to declare that by virtue of Section 177 (c.) of the Constitution, he was the candidate duly sponsored by the 3rd defendant to contest for the election held on November 16, 2013.
Other prayers contained in the plaintiffâ€™s writ of summon filed on February 17 include: That the 1st defendant should stop representing himself as being validly elected/chosen by the 4th defendant, as the candidate for APGA or presenting himself on March 17 or any other date for swearing-in as the governor of Anambra State or taking the oath of allegiance and oath of office as Governor of Anambra State in the Anambra State governorship election of November 16, 2013.
*An order of mandatory injunction restraining the 5th defendant, Chief Judge of Anambra State or any other judge in the state judiciary from swearing-in on March 17, 2014 or any other date, Obiano as the Governor of Anambra State or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on the 1st defendant as Governor of Anambra State.
â€¢An order of mandatory injunction compelling the 4th defendant, INEC, to recognise and issue Certificate of Return to the plaintiff, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, as the authentic sponsored candidate of the 3rd defendant and as such the elected governor in the state governorship election of November 16, 2013, having fully participated in all the stages of the election to the office of Governor of Anambra State.
â€¢An order of mandatory injunction compelling the Chief Judge of Anambra State or any other judge in the state judiciary to swear in on March 17or any other date the plaintiff Dr. Chike Obidigbo, as the Governor of Anambra State and to administer the oath of allegiance and oath of office on the plaintiff as Governor of Anambra State, having fully participated in all the stages of the election to the office of governor of the state in the governorship election of November 16, 2013 or any other date.
In a bid to upturn the Awka High Court judgment that reaffirmed the April 8, 2013 National Convention that brought the Maxi Okwu-led National Working Committee of APGA, a suit by some faceless persons in the party tried to quash the judgment without being parties to the original suit.
The desperation to upturn the judgment which was also upheld by the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division was to clear the way for Obianoâ€™s swearing-in on March 17, 2014; but the plot hit the rocks when Mike-Joe Onwudinjo appeared in court last week to disown the plaintiff, forcing the judge, Justice H. O. Ozor, to order that the court processes be served on him even as he adjourned the matter to March 4, 2014 for hearing.