The Imo State High Court has granted the National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Ozonkpu Dr Victor Oye leave to appeal the judgment of Hon. Justice Iheaka delivered on the 28th day of July, 2021.
In a ruling delivered today, 19th of July, 2021, the vacation court presided over by His Lordship, Hon Justice Isiguzo held that Ozonkpu Dr Victor Oye has shown sufficient interest in the subject matter of the judgment and thus ought to have been joined ab initio to the suit at the lower court. Consequently, the court granted him leave to appeal the perverse judgment of the lower court.
The court however declined to grant the application to Stay Execution insisting that the Court of Appeal is in a better position to entertain the application for Stay of Execution. With the ruling of the court today, the coast is now clear for the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division to follow the judgment of Court of Appeal, Kano Division to set aside the judgment of Owerri High court which was delivered without jurisdiction.
The matter in Suit no: HOW/543/2021], is between Chike Dike and Independent Electoral Commission, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Jude Okeke; In the matter of an application for leave to appeal as an interested party by: Chief (Dr) Victor Ike Oye [Appellant/Applicant] (National Chairman of APGA for himself and on behalf of the members of the national working Committee (NWC) of APGA elected on 31st May 2019).
In the judgment dated 19th August, 2021, the court held, inter alia:
“Upon an application by Motion on Notice filed atthe High Court Registry Owerri on the 5th day of August 2021 and brought pursuant to Section 6(6)(a), 36(1) and 243(1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and inherent jurisdiction.
“HAVING READ the Motion paper, the affidavit in
support, grounds of the application, the Exhibits, the written addresses, counter affidavit by the 3rd Respondent and after hearing V.I. Nzeobi
Esq., of counsel for the Appellant/Applicant, and C.I. Asika Ilobi Esq., holding the brief of Emeka Ozoani SAN of counsel for the 3rd Respondent.
COURT HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
“That leave is hereby granted to the Applicant to Appeal as an interested party against the judgment/Orders of this Honourable Court (Coram, B.C. Iheka, J.) delivered on the 28th July 2021 in Suit No HOW/543/2021; Chike Dike V. INEC & 2 ors to the Court of Appeal.
Prayer 2 for stay of execution of the judgment delivered on the 28th July 2021 is hereby refused.
“The Judgment of this court in suit No HOW/543/2021 is still subsisting and binding.
The Judgment being a final judgment remains valid, subsisting, until set aside by an appellate court.” the court ruled.
Recall that the judgment of the Court delivered on 28th July 2021, had declared Chukwuma Umeoji candidate and ordered INEC to continue to recognize him and Jude Okeke pending the determination of the appeal filed by Victor Oye at Appeal Court Owerri.