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Court reinstates Benue APC chairman, nullifies appointment of acting chair

The State High Court sitting in Makurdi, the capital city of Benue, has reinstated the state chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Austin Agada.

In the case brought before the Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, the court on Monday gave the order while ruling on a motion seeking to set aside the interim order restraining Agada from parading himself as Chairman of the APC in Benue State.

This came after listening to the arguments of Counsel to Agaba Moses J.J. Usman, SAN and of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa, John Ifer and others for Comrade Agada.

Justice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining Agada from parading himself, his functions, and acting as the Chairman of the APC in Benue State.

A state high court in Aliade, Gwer East Local Government Area of the state had last week given an order restraining Agada from parading himself as chairman of the party.

One Agaba Moses had secured the court order following the purported suspension of the state party chairman by his Ehaje council ward exco.

Consequently, the state executive committee of the party, presided over by the governor, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, met last Wednesday to appoint an acting chairman, Benjamin Omakolo.

Ruling on the matter on Monday, the Chief Judge said that under order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court procedure rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2nd, 2024, it has elapsed by law.

Justice Ikpambese also ruled that Justice Lillian Tsumba, who restrained Comrade Agada, did not have the jurisdiction to have given the Interim Order since the matter was not assigned to her by the Chief Judge nor the Superior Judge in Aliade (Justice Ibrahim Mohammed).

Justice Ikpambese further nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as Acting Chairman of the APC in Benue State and any other appointment made on February 2, 2024.

He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2nd, 2024, as it has been overtaken by events.

The Chief Judge is to assign the matter to another judge, who will hear the matter on its merits.

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