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Court vacates restraining order against Benue APC chairman

A Benue State High Court sitting in Makurdi has set aside an interim order restraining Austin Agada from parading himself as state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Agada was on February 2 ordered by another state High Court in the Aliade area of the state presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba to stop parading himself as the APC state chairman through an ex-parte motion.

The order was sequel to his (Agada’s) purported suspension by the APC Ehaje Ward 1 executive of his Owukpa hometown district in Ogbadigbo LGA by one Godwin Abah, who identified himself as ward chairman on behalf of other eight executive members, signed and passed a vote of no confidence on the state party chairman.

But the Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, while presiding over the matter on Monday, ruled that the restraining order was granted in error as the judge did not have the jurisdiction to order the interim injunction because the matter was not assigned by the state chief judge or a superior judge in Aliade (Justice Ibrahim Mohammed). 

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The CJ said the substantial case would be assigned to another judge, who will hear the matter on the merits.

But in a swift reaction, the acting chairman of the APC in Benue State, Benjamin Omakolo, insisted that he remains the rightful occupant of the party’s foremost seat in the state despite the court ruling.

Omakolo told journalists in Makurdi on Monday that he would continue to pilot the affairs of the party.

He said, “Whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his ward still places a ban on him from being able to function as APC chairman in Benue State.

“And it will interest you to know that in the ruling of court today (Monday), no matter concerning my person or role as the acting chairman was mentioned.


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