2023: Court bars SEFORP from championing Igbo presidency, declares group illegal

A High Court sitting in Enugu State has given an order restraining a group, South-East for Presidency, 2023, SEFORP2023 from engaging in any activity concerning the quest of the South-East to produce Nigeria’s next President.

The court order was consequent upon a suit filed by a lawyer, Barr. Obiezu Nwachukwu.

Joined as defendants in the suit were the Enugu State Commissioner for human capital development and poverty reduction, the Director of Cooperative Societies in Enugu State, SEFORP2023 Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited and Rev. Okechukwu Obioha.

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Nwachukwu had told the court that SEFORP, having been registered as a cooperative society, lacked the mandate to pursue the South-East presidency project.

He asked the court presided over by Justice C.C. Ani to make a declaration that “the conducts of the 3rd and 4th defendants, fraudulently using the 3rd defendants and engaging it in political activities as it affects and relates to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the South-East interest in 2023, is in contravention of the Nigerian Cooperative Societies Act, under which the 3rd defendant was registered by the 1st and 2nd defendant and the bye laws of the 3rd defendant, and, therefore, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

He averred that “the 3rd defendant has no vires, powers or legal standing whatsoever to meddle into politics in Enugu or Nigeria as a whole, as it affects the South-East presidency in 2023.”

In his judgement, Justice Ani held that the conducts of the 3rd defendant in engaging in political activities as it affects and relates to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the South-East interest in 2023, is in contravention of the Nigerian Cooperative Societies Act, under which the 3rd defendant was registered by the 1st and 2nd defendants.

He ruled that the 3rd defendant has no legal capacity to convene, invite, organize in any form whatsoever, political meetings, conferences or movements for the realization of the South-East presidency in 2023 for all the indigenes of the South-East States of Nigeria.

Justice Ani ordered that “the 3rd defendant is hereby perpetually restrained whether by itself, agents, servants, employees, members or howsoever and by whatever name called from participating in any form or manner, in any political activities, whatsoever or convening any political meetings or any meetings whatsoever for the discussion or deliberations as it affects the South-East indigenes and the South-East presidency in 2023 either in Enugu or Nigeria as a whole.”

The Judge further declared as null and void all meetings, decisions, conferences, communiques reached or taken by the 3rd defendant and ordered the 1st and the 2nd defendants “to deregister or cancel the registration of the 3rd defendant as a cooperative society under the Nigerian Cooperative Societies Acts for engaging in ultra vires.”

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