Hearing in the case brought by one Sunday Hawkins and four others against the All Progressives Congress APC, its National Caretaker Committee Chairman and CTC Chairman in the Rivers State, Isaac Abbot-Ogbobula has been stalled in an Okrika High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
All pending applications and motions challenging the conduct of the rescheduled membership Registration and revalidation exercise of APC, which was supposed to be heard on Friday could not go on after counsel to APC Tuduru Edeh informed the court of pending appeal on the orders given by the court on the last adjourned date.
At the last court sitting, the Presiding Judge, Justice Abina Ngbor had ordered parties to consolidate everything to be held together which did not go down well with APC and directed their counsel to appeal the orders.
On resumption of the matter, Edeh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, informed the court of their application at the appeal court, including the motion for stay of proceedings at the lower court which was opposed by plaintiff’s counsel, Henry Bello, while arguing that he was yet to receive the processes.
Justice Abina Ngbor, after listening to arguments of Counsels, adjourned to 5th February 2021 to allow all parties to receive their service and possible hearing of the matter.
In an interview with our correspondent, Counsel to APC Tuduru Edeh said their client, APC Party instructed them to appeal the order of the court.
“Following the proceedings of the 11th, January 2021, certain orders were made by the court consolidating everything to be heard together. The All Progressive Congress instructed us to appeal that order because we challenged service.
“We filed an appeal, entered it and served the parties involved and have also filed motion to stay proceedings of this trial court, at the court of appeal. Also, we filed a further motion before the court. But it turned out that the court has not heard that motion to stay proceedings pending when the determination of the stay at the court of appeal”
On his part, Counsel to Plaintiffs, Sunday Hawkins and four others, Henry Bello, said APC ought to have obtained leave required by section 242 of the constitution of Nigeria, but instead decided to go to appeal which he described as an interlocutory appeal.
“The court gave an order to Counsels to advise their clients to maintain status-quo, not to do anything that will stultify the proceedings in court, but APC decided to go to appeal. That is an interlocutory appeal. By section 242 of Nigeria constitution, leave is required which they didn’t obtain.
“They have come today to stultify proceeding just in order to go ahead with their nefarious exercise they wished to conduct on Monday, 25th January. It is an abuse of court process.
“The application for the stay has not been served on us, the appeal they said they transmitted has not been served on us, the motion for stay in high court has not been served on us. They were supposed to upload their motion through the E-filing in the High Court, they have not uploaded it”