ABIA APC LEADERSHIP TUSSLE ; COURT ADJOURNS INDEFINITELY
Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia
Following the disappearance of the case file for the matter to determine the authentic leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, the presiding judge of the state High Court at Isiala Ngwa North Local government Area, Justice Collinton Okoroafor has adjourned the matter indefinitely.
The whereabouts of the case file on this issue had been a concern to the parties, especially the presiding judge who said in his ruling on the issue of transfer of the case from his court to another high court at Osisioma, without due process that it is impossible for him to transfer a matter to another court without the case file.
During the penultimate hearing on the matter, the presiding judge had complained about the missing case file and ordered the Chief Registrar, Benson Anya to return the documents before the next hearing. However, the case file has been reported to have been transferred to Osisioma without the knowledge of Justice Okoroafor.
He accused the Chie Registrar of disobeying his court order, disclosing that he was surprised to receive a statement asking him to hands off the case by the Chief Judge of the state even without due process.
In his ruling on Thursday on the case, Justice Okoroafor said that the case is still before him and has not been transferred to another court, and stated that anyone saying otherwise is merely misleading the public.
He explained that no judge worth his onion would transfer a case without the case file of the matter before him, and wondered what the judge will write on the transfer papers. He said the right process must be followed in transferring any case to another court.
The judge insisted that until the case file is returned to the court, the matter remains adjourned indefinitely.
Justice Okoroafor reiterated that he is still in charge of Abia APC leadership matter, saying it will remain so until the missing case file is brought before him to duly transfer the matter as required by law.
He stressed that nobody can intimidate him over a case he has no particular interest in and that unless due process of the law is followed that his court must keep handling the matter while the order he issued on the matter stands.
Recall that the presiding judge had in April 8th 2019 made an order restraining Chief Donatus Nwankpa from parading himself as chairman of the APC in the state. The order further recognized the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe as the authentic EXCO of the party.