An Asaba High Court judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro, has announced the transfer of an ex parte motion to stop the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from conducting last Saturday’s council congress.
He also restrained Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, and other members from acting and or parading themselves as APC National Caretaker Committee members.
But following the transfer of the case, the hearing of the substantive suit could not be held. Although the court had granted an ex parte motion of the claimants last Wednesday, the respondents went ahead to conduct the congress.
As soon as Justice Umukoro informed the court of the transfer, lead counsel to the respondents, Niyi Akintola (SAN) asked the presiding judge the next line of action to which he was told that he will get a fresh hearing notice.
But speaking with journalists, after the adjournment, Akintola said the matter was a family affair, which could neither be handled by any judge nor filed by any lawyer.
He said the Judge and the lawyer should be sanctioned for entertaining and deceiving their clients, stressing: “Whatever decision taken by the National Judicial Council (NJC) against judges giving conflicting judgments should also be visited on lawyers, who mislead their clients.
“They have filed a defence and so, we await the decision of the Chief Judge as far as reassigning this matter is concerned,” he said.
Counsel to the claimants, Daubry Ebipade, declined to comment on the matter, saying: “We will meet in court whenever the case resumes.”
But Deputy Chairman of APC in the state, Elvis Ayomanor, said there was nothing wrong with transferring the case, adding: “This is a vacation court and I think the court will resume next week.
“So, continuing with the case, the judge might be able to conclude it, maybe that is the reason for the transfer for the case to go to a normal court. It is not new and it is not strange, because cases are usually transferred in courts.
He said the restraining order by the court stopping the council congress in Delta State was clear, but the party deliberately violated same, by conducting the congress.
Ayomanor leading other officials of the Delta APC had approached the court at the heels of the July 10, 2021, controverted ward congress, which they claimed, was widely hijacked.