A stern warning has gone out to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Edozie Njoku.
He warned that the commission’s failure to recognise him as the authentic leader of the party might jeopardise the 2023 general election.
Naija News reports that Njoku threatened the electoral body on Thursday at a press briefing in Abuja, where he warned that his non-recognition by the relevant authorities as the party’s national chairman could throw the entire 2023 exercise into crisis.
Njoku also called on APGA leaders including the Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, to intervene in the crisis, adding that all the party members given nomination forms by his camp are the authentic candidates of the party.
It would be recalled that Njoku and Victor Oye have been involved in a leadership tussle over who the party’s national chairman is.
However, Oye, who is being recognised by INEC, is the one in charge of party affairs at the APGA national secretariat in Abuja.
But the Njoku has since come up with several documents including the “corrected judgment of the Supreme Court and a letter of clarification” purportedly written by the lead judge in the panel, Justice Mary Odili, now retired.
He told pressmen that both the corrected Supreme Court judgment and the letter of clarification from Justice Odili were copied to INEC headquarters, the police authorities as well as the CJN.
Naija News reported on November 28 Njoku and the National Youth Leader of Njoku-led APGA and Chukwuemeka Nwoga were remanded in prison for their failure to show up in court over their alleged complicity in the forgery of a judgment of the Supreme Court.
Njoku and his co-defendant were alleged to have procured the services of some officials of the court who helped to insert Njoku’s name on the judgment, which Njoku allegedly presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the IGP, claiming to have been declared APGA’s National Chairman by the Supreme Court.
However, Naija News gathered that Njoku at the briefing yesterday noted that, “It is exactly one month today (Thursday) since the clarification letter was written by the presiding Judge, Justice Mary Odili, on the correction of the 9th of May, 2022 in a case that started in Jigawa state and ended up in the Supreme Court. I was removed from the lower court as the national chairman of the party.
“It is so unfortunate that one month after the lead Judge of the Supreme Court clarified the corrected judgment, INEC has refused to recognise me and all the executive members of APGA as the authentic executives. We are literally playing with fire. 2023 is a turning point in the history of Nigeria as a modern society. We cannot allow certain individuals to thwart the democracy of Nigeria to come to the general election in 2023. I want to bring to the attention of certain people who are in APGA that all those who are with Oye are members of APGA.
“All those we gave nomination forms should be calm because they are the authentic candidates of APGA. I am calling on the Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, that certain people are putting pressure on him saying ‘Njoku is after your seat. I am not after your seat.’ If we want the elections to take place in 2023, and if we want APGA to do well, all forces must come together. We must come together and push this election forward in APGA so that we can win the Houses of Assembly, Federal House of Representatives elections, Senatorial, Governorship as well as the Presidency. Nigerians are watching.”
The APGA embattled leader disclosed that a group of youth, backed by members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), are slated to hold peaceful rallies at the Supreme Court and INEC premises next week over the issue.
Njoku submitted that “The Supreme Court through its clarification has reinstated me as the national chairman of APGA. Even if that makes you uncomfortable, please bear with it. That is the way the rule of law plays out.
“The judgment we have is authentic and so are the Certified True Copies, CTCs. Come 2023, the authentic candidates are the ones coming from the Njoku-led APGA. Anything short of this is unlawful exclusion. Whoever is behind this should think about our country Nigeria and what might happen in 2023 when this evil plan that you guys have set up comes out to manifest.
“There is a serious cabal in this country that do things the way it wants it done. Sometimes, we blame the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, the chairman of INEC, and the Inspector General of Police. Sometimes, there are solid groups that politicians use to thwart the direction of justice for their own selfish interests.
“I want to appeal to our people to stop calling the names of people in high places carelessly. If you do not see funds exchanging hands, don’t say some people have been compromised. All I know is that by their fruits, we have known them.”