Imo APC crisis deepens as factional leadership differ over election Appeal Court panel


The faction of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) in Imo State led by Mercillinus Nlemigbo has faulted the constitution of the panel set up for the hearing and determination of the appeals emanating from the state’s Election Petition Tribunal.

In a petition addressed to the President, Court of Appeal, Abuja, which was made available to newsmen in Owerri, the party doubted the neutrality and independence of the panel, alleging that, “it is composed of justices residing in Owerri division of the court.”

The party demanded the reconstitution of the panel, stressing that the measure if adopted would help to ensure that, “justice is not just served, but seen to be done”, on the appeals presented before it.

It said, “our concern is predicted on the fact that the Honourable Justice Raphael Chukwu Agbo who is the presiding judge of Owerri Division is marrying a serving Commissioner in Enugu State Government, which is controlled by the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP).

“Following the above precedent therefore, we most respectfully request the President of the Court of Appeal in the exercise of the powers of your office, to constitute and empanel justices distinct from the members presently residing in the Owerri division of the Court.”

Meanwhile, the Daniel Nwafor led Imo APC has countered the demand for the reconstitution of the panel insisting that Nlemigbo leadership is illegal and has no power to take decision on behalf of the party.

Also in a letter addressed to the state Commissioner of Police, and others, dated 28th October, 2019, Nwafor asked the the general public to disregard the petition as it does not represent the position of the party in the state.

He said, “I wish to state once more that Prince Nlemigbo and his cohorts are impostors. So the general public should be weary of their activities. The suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/103/2018 delivered in favour of our Executives by an Abuja Court is still subsisting.”

Reacting, the Secretary of Imo PDP, Nze Ray Emeana said the APC should not raise unnecessary alarm over the panel as constituted, “unless they are afraid of their impending defeat.”

He said, “it is the fact that the panel is constituted by APC government. So if APC is now passing a vote of confidence on the panel, it is a welcome development. In Imo State, APC has no case and they are looking for reason to fault their defeat.”

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