TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE STATUTORY MEMBERS OF THE RIVERS STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, APC, THIS 22ND DAY OF JUNE, 2020.
Gentlemen of the Press,
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress has been enmeshed in crisis for some time now, making it nigh impossible to conduct its affairs.
Following suit No. PHC/4355/2019 filed by Hon. Igochukwu Aguma in his capacity as a Statutory Member of the State Executive Committee, APC Rivers State Chapter, Hon. Justice G.O. Omereji of the High Court of Rivers State entered a judgment in which the judge made an Order directing the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to within 48 hours of the making thereof constitute a fresh Caretaker Committee incorporating the Claimant as the Chairman and all Statutory members as Members in furtherance of the constitution of the 2nd Defendant failure of which Statutory Members comprise the Caretaker Committee chaired by the Claimant in furtherance of the All Progressive Congress’s Constitution.
By the above quoted Order of the High Court of Rivers State, it is clear that the Court constituted the entire Members of the State Executive Committee into the leadership of the Party with Hon. Igochuchukwu Aguma as Chairman.
Article 26 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress 2014 (as Amended), is clear that the Quorum for a meeting of the State Executive Committee, as applicable in this case to the total number of statutory members as unambiguously defined by the Party’s Constitution, shall be by one-third majority. For the avoidance of doubt, the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee of our great Party in Rivers State are thirty eight (38).
2.00. CRUX OF THE MATTER
2.01. Upon obtaining judgment at the High Court of Rivers State in Suit Number PHC/4355/2019, Hon. Igochukwu Aguma in violent disobedience, disregard and disrespect to the said judgment constituted himself into a sole administrator, relegating, abandoning and disregarding majority of the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee and taking critical decisions that affect the Party all by himself.
2.02. Hon. Igochukwu Aguma, in disobedience of the Judgment which he obtained, called a Meeting of the Statutory members of the State Executive Committee on 14th June, 2020 via zoom platform and deliberately refused to give the user Identity Cards and password Numbers for the Meeting to majority of the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee, thereby shutting them out of the Meeting.
Even when he managed to send the user ID and Password to some persons, he made sure he sent same after the Meeting had been concluded.
2.03. Hon. Igochukwu Aguma, has by his deliberate actions and inactions festered the crisis in the Party rather than take steps to abate same and this has worsened the situation and condition of our great Party.
2.04. Without authorization from the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee, Hon. Igochukwu Aguma, has been operating from his private residence, deliberately refusing to operate from the State Secretariat of the Party and this is against the advice of Majority of the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee.
2.05 Without seeking approval of the State Executive Committee, which approval can only be given by a Majority decision at a proper Meeting of the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee in accordance with Article 25(F)(xi)(a) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (As Amended), Hon. Igochukwu Aguma filed an action through his proxies (Dele Moses and others) at the High Court of Rivers State against the All Progressives Congress on the basis of which interim order granted by the court he is purporting to have removed Chief Victor Giadom, a Rivers State indigene, from office as a National Officer of the Party and brazenly purported to have suspended Chief Victor Giadom from being a Member of the Party. These are powers Igo Aguma does not have.
2.06. Also without the authorization of the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee, Hon. Igochukwu Aguma purportedly nominated Mr. Worgu Boms to replace Chief Victor Giadom as a National Officer of the Party, which powers again he does not have.
2.07. The zoom Meeting of the Statutory Members of the Executive Committee called by Hon. Igochukwu Aguma did not have the required quorum under Article 26 of our Party’s Constitution and so are not valid and lawful meetings of the Party that can reach decisions that would bind the Party.
3.00 OUR RESOLUTION
3.01. Following from the above chronicled sundry actions and inactions of Hon. Igochukwu Aguma which are in total contempt of the judgment he got, 28 out of the 38 Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee, having clearly formed a quorum under Article 26 of All Progressives Congress Constitution, met on Monday, 22nd June, 2020 and after thoroughly, painstakingly and dispassionately reviewing the actions and inactions of Hon. Igochukwu Aguma vis-a-vis the festering crisis in the Party, hereby reach the following resolution:
1. That the judgment of Hon. Justice G. O. Omereji in PHC/4355/2019 did not constitute Hon. Igochukwu Aguma into a sole administrator for the Party. Rather, the judgment clearly constituted the Statutory Members of the State Executive Committee into a Caretaker Committee.
2. That to give effect to the above said judgment, every Statutory Member of the State Executive Committee is a Member of the said Caretaker Committee and must be part of the decision making process of the River State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress and every such decision must be by majority vote after quorum has been formed.
3. That Hon. Igochukwu Aguma is hereby suspended as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State Chapter. This is pursuant to the powers of discipline vested in the State Executive Committee under Article 21 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress 2014 (as Amended) which states that “Subject to the provisions of this ARTICLE and the right to fair hearing, the PARTY shall have the power to discipline Party Members. The power shall be exercised on behalf of the Party by the respective Executive Committee of the Party at all levels”.
4. That Rt. Hon. Sokonte Davies has been selected by majority vote at this meeting to lead the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State Chapter pending the conduct of fresh Congresses to fill the vacant positions in the organs of the party at all levels. This selection is made with full regard to the comportment, intellectual capacity, party management experience and temperament to manage a political party and her varied tendencies and ranking traditions of Parliament from where the majority of us as statutory members draw our membership of this State Executive Committee as provided for in the APC Constitution 2014 (as Amended). We emphasize that the emergence of Hon. Dr. Sokonte Davies as Caretaker Chairman from this meeting is takes full cognisance of the duty before us and, particularly, the ranking elders of the party in the State such as Senator Uchendu; His Excellency, Chief Rufus Ada George, former Governor of Rivers State who is in the United States at the moment and unable to return due to the COVID-19 pandemic; His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, former Governor of Rivers State and a serving Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, Member of the APC Board of Trustees from Rivers State under Article 32 of the APC Constitution.
5. That all actions taken by Hon. Igochukwu Aguma purportedly in the name of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State Chapter do not bind the Party, being actions taken contrary to the provisions of Article 26 of the APC Constitution and the Judgement in PHC/4355/2019.
6. That henceforth, all actions taken by Hon. Igochukwu Aguma in the name of the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress shall not bind the Party, Hon. Aguma having been suspended.
7. That a Committee shall be set up to investigate the sundry activities of Hon. Igochukwu Aguma which border on contempt of Court and anti-party activities in flagrant violation of provisions of the APC Constitution 2014 (as Amended) and punishable under Article 21 thereof.
7. Henceforth, all correspondences meant for the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congresses should be directed to the Rt. Hon. Sokonte Davies.
Thank You and God Bless You.