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BREAKING: Benue APC crisis: Court sacks Gov Alia backed acting State Chairman

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The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.

Recall that Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area, LGA, had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.

The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA, as the acting state chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.

However, the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as chairman.

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After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Johnson Usman, and Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared for Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order, restraining him from paradingself, function, and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.

Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”

Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting chairman and any other appointment made on February 2, 2024.

He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”

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The matter would be assigned to another judge by the Chief Judge, who would hear it on its merits.

Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Agada, saying, “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting chairman was mentioned.

“So, I still remain the valid acting state chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State, and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting chairman of the APC in the state.

“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person who took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinated jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting chairman of the APC in Benue State.”

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