The Chief Cyril Ogodo led tendency of the Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC), has been affirmed as the authentic party structure in the state, while its leader, Chief Cyril Ogodo has been proclaimed as the legitimate and legally recognized chairman of the party in Delta State.
These declarations were contained in a press statement issued and signed by Mr. Iwemdi Nwaham, the Acting State Publicity Secretary of Delta APC, who promptly dismissed the claim contained in an earlier press statement by the Prophet Jones Erue faction, that it is the authentic structure of the party in the state, buttressing his argument with legal and administrative evidences.
Mr. Nwaham’s rejoinder, in response to the statement by the publicity secretary of the party for Erue, Barrister Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina, which described Jones Erue as the “substantive and authentic state chairman of the party duly recognized by the national leadership of the party by virtue of the judgment Federal High court, Abuja,” further carpeted the Jones Erue leadership claim of APC in Delta, denouncing it as a, “brazen impersonation and crass lawlessness.”
The full Press Release by Mr. Iwemdi Nwaham, which also waded into the altercation over the Board Chairmanship of the lucrative Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, between Delta APC Chieftain and former NUPENG General Secretary, Chief Frank Kokori (who had earlier been named NSITF Board Chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari) and Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, who removed Chief Kokori’s name prior to the inauguration of the NSITF Board members, reads thus:
A REJOINDER PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE AUTHENTIC AND ONLY DELTA STATE APC: RE: CHIEF FRANK OVIE KOKORI IS KNOWN TO ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, DELTA STATE.
The attention of All Progressives Congress, Delta State, has been drawn to a purported “Press Statement”, dated 25th April 2019, with the above title. The so called press statement was signed by one Barr. Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina, who adorned his name with the title, Publicity Secretary, APC, Delta State.
We are compelled to join issues with the impersonators of APC, Delta State, for what it is, and for what it portends, which is, “brazen impersonation and crass lawlessness”. What was in contention in APC Delta, until about a month ago is, “which is the right APC structure in Delta State and therefore who should speak for the party and speak on issues concerning the party in the state”?
This matter was substantively settled on 18th March 2019, at the Federal High Court 1, Asaba by Justice Toyin B. Adegoke, when she ruled among other things that:
1) Ruling No. 3
“The plaintiffs (those who went to court) and their various executives are the valid executives of the 1st Defendant in Delta State, who are entitled to participate in the 1st Defendant’s primary of Delta State, to vote and elect candidates to contest the 2019 general election on the platform of the 1st Defendant.
2) Ruling No 4.
“Anything the Defendants did in relation to the primary election of the 1st Defendant, including the conduct of primary election into the various elective posts in 2019 General Election in Delta State on the platform of the 1st Defendant in Delta State; that is, the conduct of primary election into Governorship, National Assembly, State Assembly elections on the platform of the 1st Defendant in disobedience to the order of this court made on 17/10/18, including the submission of any list of candidates to the 3rd Defendant by the 1st and 2nd Defendants, in collaboration with the 4th Defendant, is a nullity and of no effect whatsoever.
In case the authors of the senseless press statement and their backers are too uneducated to know the implications of what they issued, we hereby educate them as follows, based on the informed judgement of the court of competent jurisdiction:
a) ‘No other persons can constitute APC Delta State other than Chief Cyril Ogodo, his other state executive committee members and all those they recognise at the local government, ward and unit levels of Delta State.
b) ‘Until the court judgement under reference above is vacated on appeal, the judgement remains the true position as it pertains to APC in Delta State’. Period.
c) From the foregoing therefore, no person or persons can use the name APC Delta State or speak for APC Delta State other than Chief Cyril Ogodo and members of his structure.
Even a 1st Year law student should know this. So to come well over one month after that landmark judgement and have supposedly seasoned lawyers, impostors and impersonators resorting to third world, low-grade tactics of “bold face, lawlessness and crude impunity”, is to invite fresh trouble to their already bulging basket of failures in various courts, as we will not hesitate to evoke Form 48 on them for yet another contempt of court judgement.
THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE OFFENDING PRESS STATEMENT
Now to address the issues raised in that substandard press statement:
The APC Delta State, under the able leadership of Chief Cyril Ogodo hereby state as follows:
1) That APC Delta State is one united family with Chief Cyril Ogodo as State Chairman.
2) That the confusion being attempted to be created in APC Delta, within and outside the state is gross anti-party activity which must stop or it will be visited with the severest sanctions.
3) That the party must not only be speaking with one voice, it must be seen to be doing so at all times.
4) Indeed Chief Frank Kokori is a prominent Delta APC member, but emerging from our immediate past where two tendencies wrestled for the soul of the party in the state, his utterances and conduct, were clearly anti-party and left much to be desired. He engaged in many activities that actually sabotaged the main stream of the party in favour of fringe, fairweather groupings that grabbed power temporarily but inflicted monumental loss, pain and suffering to the enduring structure of the party in the state.
5) With such grave error of judgement from a party man thought to be of such high integrity and of high repute, it will be tantamount to courting future disaster of imaginable proportions, to continue to support such a person for any appointment of substance.
6) Chief Austin Isire, on his part, is also a notable party man. He has been a backbone and builder of APC in Delta State. Political parties are built not just with people but with a lot of money too. His credentials in banking, insurance, investment, etc, is another big deal. It is not surprising to us that the authors of the watery press statement under reference, made light of Chief Austin Isire’s contributions to the party. They ascribed his emergence as the new Chairman of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund to nepotism. Why won’t they miss the point by such a wide margin, when many of their leaders were not there when the party was built and could not have known what went into building the party with the ever willing support from Austin Esire.
7) APC Delta State is in support of the decision of The Honourable Minister, Senator Dr. Chris Ngige to recognise the efforts of Chief Austin Isire and recommend him for appointment to the high office of Chairman of NSITF.
8) It should be noted that in spite of Chief Frank Kokori’s many misdemeanours and despite earlier feelings that he cannot be trusted anymore as noted in point No. 5 above, the party did not want him to be left empty handed. The Hon Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige was still magnanimous enough to recommend him to Mr. President for appointment as Chairman, Michael Imodu Institute for Labour Studies. The party under Chief Ogodo applauded that decision, as it is also a plus to us as a party and as a state.
9) The APC Delta State under Chief Ogodo has shown broad mindedness and magnanimity in our many court victories, to carry all APC members along in spite of the shady past of many erstwhile members. We hereby give this as a final warning to all those deluding themselves into thinking that they are members of APC in Delta State but operating outside the structure of the Cyril Ogodo led executive to desist forthwith from misleading the unsuspecting public any further. We state that anymore misdemeanour in this regard, no matter how small, will be met with deliberate and calculated legal brutality.
10) We wish to humbly advise the entire Nigerian public to henceforth discountenance statements, in whatever form, that do not emanate from the Cyril Ogodo executive in Delta State.
If there are grievances within our party, as there are wont to be from time to time in any organisation of human beings, our party constitution provides for internal mechanisms of resolving such. Such grievances must be channeled through the right channel, not resorting to what amounts to unruly conduct, brigandage, making vexatious utterances and playing to public gallery.
Our teeming members and supporters are hereby advised to remain calm, continue to be of good conduct and continue to support the party under its true leadership.
Ag. State Publicity Secretary,
APC, Delta State