Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal on Monday fixed July 8 for hearing in the appeal filed by the ex-State Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Isaac Abbott Ogbogula.
Although the appeal was originally filed at the Port-Harcourt division of the Court, it was however transferred to Abuja.
Ogbogula is challenging the June 9 judgement of the High Court of Rivers State declaring Igo Aguma the APC Caretaker Chairman in River State.
Specifically, the appellant is contending the decision of the High Court of Rivers State to reject the preliminary objection filed to challenge its jurisdiction to hear the case by Aguma.
Ogbogula argued that since the case sought to have Aguma made the Caretaker Committee Chairman, the High Court ought not to have assumed jurisdiction, because it revolves solely around the internal affairs of a political party, which is not justiciable.
When it was mentioned on Monday, two lawyers, Chigioke Adidi and Ezekiel Egbo, created confusion when they announced appearances for the APC.
The confusion was, however, put to rest when Dare Oketade announced himself as the APC’s National Legal Adviser.
Counsel to Ogbogula the appellant Tuduru Ede, SAN, later told the court that two applications were pending and that both were filed on 26th of June 2020.
Ede said the first application is seeking the abridgement of time and a departure from the court’s rule to enable him to compile the records of appeal.
He said the second application is for a restraining order against Aguma pending the determination of the appeal.
Lawyer to Aguma, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, objected to the hearing of the applications on the grounds that the applications referred to by Ede were not ripe for hearing.
A three-man panel of the court led by Justice Steven Adah upheld Etiaba’s objection to the hearing of the applications.
The court then adjourned till July 8 for hearing.