Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
Persons suspected to be thugs on Wednesday besieged and sacked an Abia state high court sitting at Okpuala Ngwa in an ongoing legal tussle over the legitimate leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The Emmanuel Ndukwe led executive of the All Progressive Congress in Abia state is seeking redress from the court to determine if the party having flouted a court order on the matter and went ahead to hold primaries, would still present candidates for the 2019 general elections.
Also, Nwankpa wants the case transferred to another court in a motion he filed.
The two factions of the APC led by Donatus Nwankpa and Emmanuel Ndukwe conducted their separate primaries to produce two candidates for each electoral seat.
The matter was adjourned even before it was called up following the chaos that ensued within the court room and premises with hoodlums attacking all identified perceived enemies from a different faction.
Apparently aware of the goings on in the court, the presiding judge, Justice Collinton Okoroafor stayed away from the court.
Lawyers to the parties were duly informed by the court clerk that the judge had sent word that for security reasons the court would resume sitting on October 31, 2018.
Leadership crises have been the bane of the All Progressive Congress in the state right from word go. The unresolved problems led to the separation of members who either pitched their tent with Nwankpa or Ndukwe.
The national secretariat of the party has done little or nothing to settle this lingering problem.
Some supporters of Hon. Nwankpa had constituted themselves into security operatives, searching and screening people entering the court premises, while ensuring that only their loyalists had access.
There were several discharge of passengers from a particular bus at the court premises. They were mask wearing men armed with machete and guns.
One of the notable victims of their onslaught was the state publicity secretary of the Dr Ndukwe led faction, Engr. Mike Ozoemana who was given the beating of his life while his Toyota 4 Runner jeep got seized by men alleged men of State Anti-Robbery Squad.
On March 8, 2018 Justice Okoroafor issued an order restraining Nwankpa from parading himself as the chairman of Abia APC pending the determination of the case brought against him by aggrieved party members. The then national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun was also restrained from recognizing Nwankpa as chairman, but that order was totally flouted and never set aside either.
Another disturbing one for the Ndukwe faction is the allegation of the disappearance of the case file, which has led to his petitioning the state judicial service commission to investigate the development and bring perpetrators to book.


Chinwe Ugele


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