Justice Maurice Ikpambese of the Benue State High Court, Makurdi, on Monday ordered the reinstatement of Mr. Austin Agada as Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Ikpambese, who is also the state’s chief judge, gave the order while ruling on a motion seeking to set aside an interim order that restrained Agada from parading himself as APC chairman in Benue State.
Justice Lilian Tsumba of the same court had on February 2 restrained Agada from parading himself as APC chairman in the state over alleged anti-party activities and other offences.
The party executives in Ehaje Ward 1 of Ogbadibo local government area of the state on January 31 suspended the chairman for alleged anti-party activities in the 2023 general election.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) however nullified the suspension and insisted that Agada remains the party chairman in the state.
At Monday’s proceeding, the judge vacated the order after listening to the arguments of Agada’s counsel, Mr. Agaba Moses, and Mr. J.J Usman (SAN).
He ruled 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 2, it had elapsed by law.
Justice Ikpambese also ruled that Tsumba who restrained Agada did not have the jurisdiction to give an interim order since the matter was not assigned to her by the chief judge or the superior judge in Aliade.
He nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting chairman of the APC in Benue, and any other appointments made from February 2.
The chief judge, therefore, said he would assign the matter to another judge who would hear the matter on its merits.
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