Opinion

Opinion | Re: Suit Between Ogechi Edwin & Ors. V. APC & Anor.: Judge Recuses Self

The foregoing, no doubt, is another ploy to detract the Leadership of All Progressives Congress, Rivers State by some imposters and naysayers who are bent on fanning the embers of discord within our great party.

It is no longer news that Magnus Abe’s group, a group funded and sponsored by Governor Wike to destabilize Rivers APC, for the umpteenth time, suffered a huge blow today as the trial/presiding Judge, Honourable Justice, I.R. Minakiri recused himself from the matter today and returned the case to my Lord, the Honourable Chief Judge of Rivers State, Honourable Justice S.C. Amadi.

You may appreciatively recall that the outwitted Governor Wike through his puppet, Magnus Abe and some of his stooges OGECHI OGWU EDWIN and others had approached the Rivers State High Court in Suit No. PHC/1955/CS/2021 seeking for an interlocutory injunction against the erstwhile Rivers State APC Caretaker Committee. The palace jesters sought, among other reliefs, an order of the Honorable Court to set aside the Congress of our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Rivers State.

The Learned trial Judge presiding over the matter, Hon Justice I. R. Minakiri in his infinite wisdom withdrew from the matter after a painstaking perusal of the case files.

My Lord had already adjourned the matter to the 24th day of February, 2022 for Judgment before he recused himself from the suit for reasons not unconnected to some external pressure by Magnus Abe and Governor Wike who are bent on using the judicial process as an instrument of political subterfuge.

The witty Learned trial Judge returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the state while washing his hands off the matter just like Pontius Pilate.

Similarly, Justice Minakiri also withdrew from a sister suit from the same camp instituted by one Alaibo Soibibo & 3 Ors. against the Rivers state APC and Isaac Ogbobula.

The move by the Learned trial judge to recuse himself from the suits came on the heels of incessant pressure from Governor Wike to cow my Lord into doing the bidding of Mr. Magnus Abe. This has been their stock in trade.

It is no longer news to us and to members of the public that our adversary is Governor Wike who is bent on stifling every possible opposition in Rivers State.

It is however unfortunate that Mr. Magnus Abe and his ungodly followers have made themselves cheap tools in the willing but dirty hands of Governor Wike for pecuniary benefits or whatever their benefits may be.

We make bold to state that the tenure of Governor Wike will elapse very soon and the judges should not risk making themselves willing tools in the hands of Governor Wike whose tenure will elapse by May, 2023.

The Judges of Rivers State High Court should know that their career is much more important than the murky waters of politics Governor Wike has dragged them into.

They should therefore resist any further attempt by Governor Wike to use them to achieve his sinister political motives in Rivers State. Justice Gbasam Okogbule and others made themselves ready tools in the hands of Governor Wike.

Any Judge who dares to interfere this time around into the internal affairs of Rivers APC will definitely run into troubled waters as we will not hesitate to petition such a Judge to the NJC for appropriate disciplinary action.

At this point, it is only proper we advise the already battered Magnus Abe and his co travelers that they are again traveling the lonely and unpopular road of ignominy. Instead of joining the APC Rivers state to build a robust and formidable party where hard work is rewarded, where hate is eschewed and love for a prosperous state is made the driving spirit or in the alternative cut their losses and lick their wounds quietly in their hideouts. Governor Wike cannot help you this time around.

They have again resorted to some unwholesome/recalcitrant acts just to score cheap political points or better still prove a point to their paymaster, Governor Ezenwo Wike.

We quite appreciate and concede to the fact that the legal route has become part and parcel of politicking and indeed the electioneering process especially in this clime. But, we find it difficult to understand or condone how nonmembers of a political party could be so obsessed and interested in the internal politics of the party which they are not members of.

It is now clear that Abe and his group have consciously rendered themselves as a cheap and willing tool in the hands of Governor Wike and all those who are hell bent on destabilizing the only formidable opposition party in the state. But, we’re confident God will continue to disappoint their gimmicks devised to distract and destabilize our great party.

We forgive them but we will not tolerate further distraction from them.

Beyond the foregoing, we are resolute and determined more than ever in our resolve to make real the promises of democracy not only to our members but also to the good people of our dear State, Rivers State.

At this juncture, it is only wise we bring to the fore, at least to the right thinking members of the public of the unwholesome move by Magnus Abe and his battered group ably aided by Governor Wike to hoodwink the Honourable Chief Judge of Rivers State into reassigning the suit to a ‘friendly Judge’. Every ungodly effort made in that regard by Abe and his paymaster, Governor Wike will amount to nothing but a mere paper tiger. This, we assure them.

We therefore, reiterate our readiness to square it out with Magnus Abe and his co-travelers.

Ours is a party committed to obeying the rule of law and the sanctity of the judicial process and we’ll not renege in that resolve in spite of the move by Magnus Abe and Governor Wike to manipulate the entire process.

We strongly believe in the unflinching impartiality of the Nigerian Judiciary as the last hope of the downtrodden.

Once again I congratulate the Leadership of our great party in Rivers State and the State Working Committee ably led by High Chief Emeka Bekee on their well deserved all round victories.

God bless the All Progressives Congress, Rivers state

God bless Rivers State.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Iheanyichukwu Zubi Dike, Esq., is factional Rivers APC Legal Adviser.