IMO APC: EXPULSION OR SUSPENSION OF ROCHAS, UZODINMA & NLEMIGBO & THE SALIENT POINT.
By: Sam Onwuemeodo
First, Hon. Daniel Nwafor-led Executive Committee (EXCO) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had, the ultimate week suspended Chief Marcellinus O. Nlemigbo from the Party. Chief Nlemigbo was before his sack, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee Adams Oshiomhole announced that he had set up in replacement of the Nwafor-led EXCO.
Barely one week after the Suspension of Nlemigbo, a Committee headed by Chief Mathew Omegara set up by Nlemigbo announced that they had recommended Governor Rochas Okorocha who is the leader of the Party in the State, for expulsion. According to them, they had asked the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party to expel the governor. The NWC has not said anything or has not acted on the recommendation of the Omegara Committee, to the best of our knowledge.
Just last week, the Daniel Nwafor EXCO again announced the expulsion of Chief Hope Uzodinma, the governorship Candidate of the Party, following the recommendations for that purpose from the Candidate’s Ward EXCO and Oru-East LGA EXCO. The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, had reacted, describing the expulsion of Chief Uzodinma as wrongful. Governor Okorocha had also described the recommendation for his suspension as a joke. He did that through his Chief Press Secretary. Yours faithfully.
There is a poser here. And a very serious one, so to say. In the face of all these expulsions and suspensions, what is the truth of the whole matter. What is the salient point? Do the suspensions and expulsions end up with the declarations and denials or rebuttals? Does any of the expulsions or suspensions hold water or be justified either now or in the nearest future? In other words, which of the expulsions or suspensions carries weight or could carry water at the end of the day?
In resolving the issues raised above, another question is sacrosanct. In all these suspensions and expulsions, with Nwafor and Nlemigbo at the Centre-Stage, do they have the legal ground to do what they did? Between Nlemigbo and Nwafor whose own action could be adjudged sellable in law or which one could pass the test of time in the face of the law or legally speaking? Lets reframe the key question. Does Nlemigbo has the legal right or the locus to suspend or expel anybody? And does Nwafor has the legal authority or the locus too to expel or suspend anybody from the Party. When we are talking about Nwafor, we are simply talking about the SWC of the party he heads. Ditto Nlemigbo with regard to the Caretaker Committee he is also the Chairman.
Nlemigbo and members of his Caretaker Committee are the Creations of Adams Oshiomhole. He created them after he had announced the dissolution of Nwafor’s EXCO. Now the survival of Nlemigbo and Co or their locus would be based on whether the dissolution of Nwafor’s EXCO by Oshiomhole was legally right or not. If it was legally right it means the action of Nlemigbo could also be right, but if Oshiomhole’s action is legally baseless then Nlemigbo is at the receiving end and whatever he has done remains mere tomfoolery.
Daniel Nwafor and members of his EXCO were products of the APC duly Conducted Congress. Adams Oshiomhole announced that he had dissolved them and replaced them with a Caretaker Committee. And before the dissolution, there was an existing Court ruling given by Justice O.A. Musa of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In the ruling, Oshiomhole, the APC NEC, NWC and their proxies were perpetually restrained from dissolving, sacking, interfering, etc with the Dan Nwafor-led EXCO of the Party in the State. And nobody has objected to this ruling. Nobody has also said that there is no ruling like that by Justice Musa. Which means the ruling exists.
Again, there has never been any evidence to show that the Parties in the matter have gone on an appeal against the ruling or that there is another ruling by a Superior Court voiding the ruling in question. That is to say, the referenced ruling is still intact. If the ruling is still intact, was Oshiomhole right in dissolving the Nwafor EXCO in the face of this ruling? With this too, could the sacking of Nwafor and his team be adjudged tenable also in the face of the Court ruling? One can also ask, with the Court ruling still alive, could Nlemigbo-led Caretaker Committee be given life in the face of the law? There is one answer to these questions. That answer is No. It is a common knowledge or principle in law that any action one takes in disobedience to an existing Court Order or ruling is null and void. This is a common principle in law to the extent that some of us who are not lawyers, have that in our heads or even at the back of our minds.
To cut the long story short, with the High Court ruling in favour of the Nwafor EXCO, Oshiomhole’s dissolution was weightless and cannot stand. And the Nlemigbo Caretaker Committee which was given birth to by the Oshiomhole’s void action, cannot also make any valid Claim. In other words, it cannot also stand. With all these too, any action taken by Nlemigbo in his Capacity as the Chairman of the ill-fated Caretaker Committee, becomes an aberration. So, his Committee’s action against Rochas Okorocha with regard to the suspension should be adjudged a wasteful exercise. We can also go this way. If the Court ruling that has remained incontrovertible has rendered Oshiomhole’s dissolution of Nwafor’s EXCO toothless where does Nlemigbo draw the Power or receive the right or appropriate the privilege of setting up a Committee to put Governor Okorocha on trial and finally recommend from his Suspension. The answer is expectedly nowhere. It is therefore right to contend that Nlemigbo’s Committee does not exist before the law. And Adams who gave birth to it acted mischievously or deliberately walked on the head of the Court ruling under reference can also be Concluded that both Oshiomhole’s action and that of Nlemigbo can never pass if subjected to legal Scrutiny. And luckily enough Dan Nwafor is already in Court against Oshiomhole and Nlemigbo over the dissolution of his EXCO and the setting up of a Caretaker Committee.
Equally, with the Court ruling in favour of Dan Nwafor, he is still the Chairman of the State Chapter of APC. And his EXCO, also intact. The question becomes whether any action he has taken after the purported dissolution of his EXCO could also carry weight. The answer is obviously Yes. Without the Court ruling under Constant reference, Oshiomhole’s dissolution of his EXCO would have had some teeth. But the existing Court ruling has evaporated or depreciated the Currency Adam’s action would have gained. Nwafor’s actions would remain valid before, now and after, until the High Court ruling in his favour is upturned. So, the expulsion and suspension of Uzodinma and Nlemigbo respectively by the Dan Nwafor-led EXCO carry a lot of weight. Ask me, they are in Order and remain valid until withdrawn or quashed by the Court. In case Uzodinma and Nlemigbo do not know, Oshiomhole must have become Conscious of the Court ruling in question and the Contempt Charge being preferred against him and that is why they have remained mute over the action of the vapour-like Nlemigbo Caretaker Committee that can neither bark nor bite.
Let’s download the whole thing here. With the prevailing Court ruling perpetually restraining Oshiomhole from doing anything funny with the Nwafor-led EXCO, the dissolution of the same EXCO is balderdash. And Nlemigbo’s Committee born by the dissolution is also non-existent in actual fact. And whatever they had done in that Capacity is as good as nothing. So, they are all at the mercy of Dan Nwafor and Co.
The truth of the matter is that if Uzodinma and Nlemigbo are keen in facing the reality on ground, they should without further delay proceed to the Court to see whether at the end of the day, the Court can invalidate their expulsion and Suspension respectively. They would be doing to themselves a great disservice if they see the whole thing as Politics and allow the actions of Dan Nwafor and Co against them to remain unchallenged. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is that with the action of Dan Nwafor and his EXCO, Chief Uzodinma remains expelled from the APC. Ditto, Nlemigbo who was also Suspended. Politics should be detached from the facts. One may consciously or unconsciously ask whether Sam Onwuemeodo is a lawyer. The answer is No. And I do not need to be a lawyer to know this popular and simple logic or principle of law, especially when I had covered Judiciary several years in the Course of this pen job or paper and pen vocation. And if the lawyers in the Camp of Uzodinma and If Nlemigbo who also Studied or read law or all of the above, has not known all that have been written in this innocuous piece, then, we can only fold our hands and watch, to see where the whole drama will anchor at the end of the day. Yet, we must Continue to Clap for Jesus.