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Victor Oye’s Name Still On INEC’s Website: The Dangers of a Transactional Commission



Okoro Chinedum Benedict
National Administrative Secretary,
On Friday, March 3 2023, Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim of the Supreme Court presiding over the New Naira Redesign Suit stated as follows;
‘’The Rule of Law upon which our democratic governance is founded becomes illusory if the President of the country or any authority or person refuses to obey the orders of courts. The disobedience of orders of courts by the President in a constitutional democracy as ours is a sign of the failure of the constitution and that democratic governance has become a mere pretension and is now replaced by autocracy or dictatorship.”
(2) The above words from the Supreme Court informs why Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s delay in recognizing Chief Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA as ordered by the Supreme Court deserves public scrutiny.  
(3) On March 24, 2023, Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, JSC, the Lead Justice (Suit No. SC/CV/687/2021) in Page 27 of the Judgment stated;
‘That the name of ‘’Chief Victor Oye’’ mentioned and set out in Page 13 of the Judgment delivered by the Court on 14th October, 2021 in Appeal No. SC/CV/687/2021 be DELETED and REPLACED with the name of ‘’Edozie Njoku’’ so that the sentence on Page 13 would now read correctly read;
‘It needs to be stated at this point that the dispute being who should be the Acting National Chairman of the 1st Respondent, APGA and whether the Chairman, Edozie Njoku was validly replaced are within the confines of the internal affairs of the 1st Respondent which is not justiciable.’
(4) Clearly, the above Judgment shows that the National Chairmanship position of APGA has never been in contention. The dispute between the Jude Okeke (former Deputy National Chairman South) and Alhaji Garba Aliyu (former Deputy National Chairman North) was who should be the Acting National Chairman of APGA, which matter arose amongst elected executives of the Party from the National Convention held at Owerri on May 31, 2019.
(5) Similarly, Hon Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun (in Page 7 of her contributory Judgment) clarified and affirmed that the lawful executives of the APGA were those that emerged from the Owerri Convention. I quote her;
‘The Party Officials were elected at its National Convention held on 31st May 2019 at Owerri.’
(6) Upon Chief Edozie Njoku’s purported suspension as the National Chairman of APGA, the Jigawa High Court upheld his wrongful removal and affirmed Chief Jude Okeke (former Deputy National Chairman-South) as the Acting National Chairman of APGA on June 30, 2021; and subsequently he was recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Commission’s recognition made it possible for Jude Okeke to present the name of Hon. Chuma Umeoji, as the Party’s candidate for the Anambra Governorship election on July 16, 2021.
(7) Furthermore, Hon Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun (in Page 7 of her contributory Judgment) stated;
‘that the trial court held that the Applicant (Chief Edozie Njoku) had been lawfully removed as the National Chairman and that Chief Jude Okeke was properly appointed to fill the resultant vacancy pending the Party’s National Convention.’
(8) Consequently, the Kano Appeal Court returned Chief Victor Oye as the National Chairman of APGA with some consequential orders and instantly he was recognized by INEC and Jude Okeke’s list was discarded, while Victor Oye’s list was published on INEC’s website.
(9) However, the Supreme Court Judgment of March 24, 2023 has RENDERED the Kano Appeal Court consequential orders a NULLITY and making it ABUNDANTLY clear that Chief Victor Oye has absolutely nothing to do with this APGA as a Party. Hence, in Page 25 of the Lead Judgment of the Supreme Court, the Court declared;
‘In the two (2) Appeals before the Court below; ie. (CA/KN/121/2021) and CA/KN/146/2021 in which Chief Victor Oye; the 2nd Respondent was joined and from which the Appeals No: SC/CV/686/2021 and SC/CV/687/2021 arose, respectively, the 2nd Respondent (Victor Oye) did not claim and was not found to have been the Chairman who was suspended or replaced at the Owerri Convention of 31st May, 2019 and who the 3rd Respondent sought to take over from as the Acting Chairman in the suit filed before the trial court…
(10) Instructively, Hon. Justice Olatokunbo Motonmori Kekere Ekun, JSC maintains that;
‘it is therefore crystal clear that the dispute that gave rise to Appeal Nos: SC/CV/687/2021 & SC/CV/686/2021 was who should be that Acting National Chairman of the 1st Respondent and whether the erstwhile National Chairman, Chief Edozie Njoku, was validly replaced. The suit had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Chief Victor Ike Oye.’

(11) Despite the Supreme Court’s Consequential Orders on APGA leadership tussle, it is unfortunately that Chief Victor Oye and his team have gone to town, in connivance with very senior management staff of INEC to misrepresent and misinterpret facts to suit some inordinate narratives; by attempting to place the Kano Appeal Court Judgment above a Supreme Court Judgment.  Nevertheless, the Supreme Court’s has this to say about the Kano Appeal Court Judgment;  
‘…the Court of Appeal, Kano Division held that it was the Applicant, Chief Edozie Njoku’s position as the National Chairman of the Party that was in issue and that failure to join him amounted to a denial of his right to be heard.’
(12) Superbly, Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, JSC (in Page 18 of the Lead Judgment) explained why Chief Victor Oye cannot be a beneficiary of the Judgment and stated as follows;
‘Appeal No. SC/CV/687/2021 arose from a case before the Trial Court in which the issue of the suspension of the Applicant as the Chairman of the 1st Respondent and as to whether the 3rd Respondent was to assume the position of the Acting Chairman after the suspension of the Applicant (Chief Edozie Njoku). …. the name of the 2nd Respondent whose suspension and replacement by the 3rd Respondent was not an issue in the Appeal No. CA/KN/146/2021, was stated in Page 13 instead of the name of the Applicant, which was the correct name of the person whose suspension and replacement was in issue.’
(13) Apparently, the primary objective of the Judiciary is to dispense justice, especially, where a wrong is perceived to have been done. Therefore, looking at Chief Edozie Njoku’s ordeal in the hands of his detractors, which includes Chief Victor Oye (wherein the latter had denied the former all the benefits of his office as the National Chairman of APGA since 2019) and his persecution in the hands of the Nigerian Police (which Chief Victor Oye procured to try him unjustly) and had him thrown into prison; the Supreme Court categorically stated thus;
‘Chief Victor Oye (the 2nd Respondent) got the Inspector-General of Police to arrest the Applicant, Chief Edozie Njoku and charge him before a Bwari High Court for ‘’Forgery a Supreme Court judgment’’; and in spite of the letter from Hon Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili (JSC) (RTD), clearly exculpating the Applicant who was the victim of the above accidental slip, remanded in Prison Custody by the Bwari High Court pending Ruling on his Bail Application with the Social Media making scandalous and defamatory publications that the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Edozie Njoku, had been sent to prison for forgery of a Supreme Court Judgment, in collusion with officers of the Supreme Court.’
(14) Furthermore, the Court considers Chief Njoku’s detention as an awful, unlawful and unfortunate ordeal (as the National Chairman of APGA), which was orchestrated by Chief Victor Oye, as a great dent to his character, reputation and a big blow to the Party. Similarly, the Court notes;
‘The above has led to great Political upheaval within the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and has resulted in a very heavy dent on the character, reputation and political career of the Applicant and equally sought to falsely impugn the integrity of this Honourable Court and its officers’
(15) Consequently, armed with these scale of facts and evidence as contained in the Consequential Orders of the Supreme Court Judgment of March 24, 2023, Chief Edozie Njoku on March 31, 2023 wrote to INEC requesting to be recognized by the Commission as the authentic National Chairman of APGA.
(16) On April 5, 2023, the Supreme Court served INEC the Enrolment Order of the Court. Two weeks later, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is yet to RESPECT a Supreme Court Judgment. Indeed, Nigerians should be worried.
(17) In its usual pretensions, the Commission has set up a Committee (which is akin to opening a ‘shop’ in the con artistry parlance or an invitation to treat) which it claims is to come up with an interpretation of the Supreme Court Judgment. It is now two weeks and nothing has been heard from the Committee and the Commission.
(18) Notably, on June 30, 2021, at the instance of the Jigawa Judgment which declared Jude Okeke, (former Deputy National Chairman South) as the Acting National Chairman of APGA, the Commission did not set of any Committee to interpret the Judgment. They recognized Jude Okeke in less than 24hours.
(19) When Victor Oye was returned as National Chairman of APGA by the Kano Appeal Court, the Commission did not set up any Committee to interpret the Judgment.
(20) INEC only sets up Committee to interpret Judgments anytime the Judgment is in favour of Chief Edozie Njoku. Strangely, this idea of seeking interpretation of the Supreme Court was invented by INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
(21) Undoubtedly, INEC’s habitual setting up of internal Committees to interpret Supreme Court Judgment is a deliberate orchestration to frustrate Chief Edozie Njoku so as to retain Oye’s name on its website. Therefore, Victor Oye derives his boldness for impunity, ILLEGAL exploits and plots from the backing of the Commission.
(22) By retaining Oye’s name on its website, INEC is implicitly in a joint partnership with Chief Victor Oye to share proceeds from nomination forms sold to unsuspecting Governorship aspirants. Oye has conducted ILLEGAL PRIMARIES and returned list of names of purported Governorship candidates to INEC. This is ABSOLUTELY wrong, bearing in mind the recent Supreme Court Judgment which said that Oye’s name should be DELETED from anything that has to do with the Party.
(23) By virtue of the Supreme Court Judgment of March 24, 2023, the Commission ought to have severed every relationship with Chief Victor Oye on APGA matters.
(23) Clearly, the Court Judgments, starting from Jigawa Judgment to the Supreme Court Consequential Orders which reinstated Chief Edozie Njoku (as the National Chairman of APGA) is so unambiguous that Chief Oye’s continued reference to the judgment of the Court below, in connivance with some members of staff of INEC, as being superior to the Judgment of the Supreme Court is a perfidious act that portends great danger for the Commission. The fact that sensitive Departments of INEC that ought to give the Commission unbiased recommendation are titling towards the Oye narrative is contemptuous.
(24) INEC’s delay in upholding the Supreme Court Judgment, whereas Jude Okeke and Victor Oye were immediately recognized by the Commission when Jigawa and Kano Appeal Court Judgments were given provides a fertile ground for suspicion and public conjectures.
(25)      Unarguably, the matter before the Apex Court which it set out to RESOLVE is not who is the National Chairman of APGA, because at NO POINT in time was that before the Court. That Victor Oye used the powers of Gov. Willie Obiano to seize the APGA National Secretariat, whilst parading himself as the APGA’s National Chairman does not confer any form of legitimacy on the illegality. Before the law, Victor Oye has no business with APGA.
(26)  Hence, the Supreme Court FOCUSED on its duty which was to ESTABLISH and EDUCATE the Parties (the Appellant Chief Jude Okeke) and 3rd Respondent (Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliyu) based on FACTS, LOGIC and SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE before it that Chief Edozie Njoku’s seat, as the National Chairman of APGA is non justiciable; hence, NO COURT can ENTERTAIN the matter.
Conclusively, when the Supreme Court released its Judgment on March 3, 2023 on the New Naira Redesign stating its position as a Policy Court, President Buhari in absolute show of respect to the constitution of Nigeria, and as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria; in utmost regard to the Principle of Separation of Powers took a bow and allowed the Rule of Law to prevail. Unarguably, this is how a State functions in a constitutional democracy.
Finally, if President Buhari, with the enormous power he wields, as the President of the Nigeria could respect a Supreme Court Judgment, one wonders what games Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is playing by standing down a Supreme Court Judgment; even when the Enrolled Order had been served on the Commission. If not for anything else, such impudence must not be allowed to stand, because it has the potentials to set Nigeria ablaze.

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