Tony John, Port Harcourt
A former senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has described the alleged suspension of the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Igochukwu Aguma, by a section of the statutory members of the party’s State Executive Committee (SEC), as inconsequential and a clear breach of a valid court judgement.
Abe stated that even if the judgement of the high court that empowered Aguma to act as the APC Caretaker Chairman in the state is set aside, the action of the SEC members was already in defiance of a subsisting court judgement, considering the time they took the action.
He said that Senator Andrew Uchendu, who presided over the meeting where Aguma was allegedly suspended, should have collected the signatures of the SEC members and served a notice on Aguma the chairman with a demand to summon a meeting.
The senator said: ‘There are constitutional provisions in our party constitution to summon an extraordinary meeting of the state executive committee of our party the APC.
‘Hon Igo Aguma called a meeting of the SEC by virtue of an order of the court which was published. Every member was invited. I attended that meeting, a quorum was formed and decisions were reached.
‘So, SEC met and took certain decisions including asking the acting chairman to draw a blueprint on the way forward and present to SEC at a later date.
‘The proper procedure for Senator Andrew Uchendu would have been to collect the signatures of SEC members and serve a notice on the chairman with a demand to summon a meeting.
‘Senator Uchendu cannot call a sectional meeting in his house to which other members were not invited and usurp the powers of the state executive committee, to set up a factional executive outside SEC.
‘This action at the time it was done was a clear breach of a valid court judgement, even if the judgement is set aside the action as at the day it took place was in defiance of a subsisting judgement and cannot be repaired.
‘As far as the law is concerned, the state executive committee of the APC can only meet if summoned by the chairman or a proper procedure is used by members to override the chairman.
‘We should follow the example of the President and obey our courts. Igo Aguma remains the Chairman of APC in the state. Leaders should be careful not to lead the party on another merry go round,’ Abe maintained.