As the APC prepared to organize its Congress in Rivers State after dispensing of the court case brought by Senator Magnus Abe, evidence that the crisis rocking the party was far from over appeared in the open.
This time, Igo Aguma, a one-time member representing Port Harcourt in the House of Representatives dragged the APC right back to court.
He is reported to have asked the court among other things to quash the caretaker committee set up by the National Secretariat of the party, saying it was put together by the party without consultation.
Aguma’s grouse is based primarily on what he sees as the use of unknown faces to manage the party, including the congress that the APC seeks to have.
Last week, the Judge who has been entertaining the case recused herself.
She has been accused of bias, with the APC saying in a petition that the husband of the Judge who is reputed to have run an election is a card carrying member of the PDP.
The APC claimed that the decision to assign the matter to such a judge was part of what is emerging as deliberate ploy in Rivers State to use the judicial arm of government to frustrate its effort to rebuild its structures.
The case file has since been returned in the meantime to the office of the DPP where judiciary officials are contemplating what next step to take.
Igo’s action initiated in December came close on the heels of efforts that are being made by the APC to resolve all conflicts that are plaguing it nationwide.
The Reconciliation Committee which is currently attempting to end differences within the party is headed by the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
Recall that as quickly as the APC National Secretariat announced the plan to hold Congress in December last year, it said the activity that party loyalists were warming up to participate in would no longer hold.
The party noted that it had come to its notice that another court case seeking to block the exercise has been instituted by one Igo Aguma.
This year, APC lawyers would be fighting to get the matter thrown out, essentially on the ground that the power to appoint officials to man caretaker committees is the exclusive right of the party’s national executive committee.
It is doubtful that the lack of adequate exposure of persons nominated to serve on the caretaker committee would be sufficient in law to set aside the decision of the National Secretariat.
Nonetheless, public attention within and outside Rivers State is once again turned in the direction of the courts.
In some circles, Igo Aguma’s case is raising fears that there may still be others within the fold described by the National Secretariat as minions who might be poised to take precipitate steps as part of a written script to dismember the APC.
Before going to court, Aguma had caused a publication which said that Senator Magnus Abe and Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi were not the only ones who are leaders of the party in Rivers State. Emma Deeyah, a former State commissioner and member of the House of Representatives, who spoke on Channels television in defense of Aguma’s posture tore the membership of the caretaker committee to shreds and in the process, opened a can of worms.
There is a chance, political observers hint, that both men who served at the same time in the house may be working together.
Not many here forget that both men were active supporters of Sir Austin Opara’s bid to succeed Governor Peter Odili in 2007.
Rotimi Amaechi eventually emerged as the Rivers Governor while the two, Aguma and Deeyah lost out.
There are fresh indications that Opara may be the one to beat in the PDP gubernatorial race.
Some aggrieved members of the APC in Rivers State accuse Aguma of scheming to work for Opara.
They say it is part of the old game and an attempt in some quarters to rekindle old hostilities.
What is apparently obvious in Aguma’s game is the growing realization that he may have been entangled all along with Governor Wike.
Insiders in the APC say there has always be several accusations suggesting that Igo was allegedly spotted at Government House dragging sacks of money; accusations that he has repeatedly denied.
But some had held the view that given the level of patronage that the Aguma family has equally received from Wike, it was only a matter of time before Igo would turn coat.
The Old Produce Building at Moscow Road was rebuilt and named after his father.
His senior brother’s wife is similarly serving as a commissioner in Wike’s administration.
These carrots, observers say, may be sufficient to ensure that the PHALGA politician remains in the loop.
There is however, the opening that the seeming emergence of Omo Agege as the Leader of the South South, threw open.
Those supporting Omo Agege had created an impression of a complete takeover of everything including party structures in the geopolitical zone and the exclusive control of money spinners such as the NDDC.
Now, the ongoing audit into the activities of the Commission which is ordered by the President has thrown a spanner in the works.
The list of board members has formally been withdrawn by the Presidency, meaning the ascendancy to power of the nominees that are being touted as part of the Omo Agege pack has gone up in smoke.
A close friend of Rotimi Amaechi , name withheld, had negotiated the entry of a new-look Igo Aguma into the APC.
There are daggers in men’s smile, William Shakespeare wrote many years ago
Mamman Vatsa, a Nigerian Army General, writer and a poet who was killed over a coup plot that he claimed he knew nothing of warned Nigerians of what he referred to as “smile’s surprise”.
Once again, fate appears to have played a cruel hand. A man who was seen always in Amaechi’s company; who was seen as a front-line supporter like Brutus was to Ceasar in the play “Julius Ceaser” has drawn a dagger.
Only the court, as things are, can decide if it (Aguma’s revolt) would prove to be a mortal blow.
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