By Obidike Chukwuebuka.

Sometime around November 2019,Oshiomhole was suspended in his ward as an APC member. He was accused of trying to disintegrate the party in Edo State,hence the suspension.
Recall that one Oluwale Afolabi had instituted a substantive suit against Oshiomhole before a Federal High court sitting in Abuja. In the substantive suit, Oluwale is praying the court to remove Oshiomhole as the national chairman of APC since he has been suspended as a member of the APC in his ward.

The substantive suit is still in progress and Afolabi Oluwale brought an application of interim injunction before same court on 16th January,2020, asking the court to grant an interim injunction which would restrain Oshiomhole from acting as the national chairman of the APC, pending the adjudication and final determination of the substantive suit which is already pending before the court.

Around March, 2020, the Federal High Court saw sense in Afolabi’s argument and granted the interim injunction which restrains Oshiomhole from acting as the national chairman of the APC.

Interim and interlocutory injunctions in law are not court judgements as widely misconstrued and reported by journalists and most reporters. Injunctions are equitable remedies which protect the interests of every party in a litigation. Interim injunction for instance is an order of a court which comes during the pendency of any litigation and the reason for interim injunction is to always ensure that none of the interests of the parties to the litigation is harmed in the interim.

It is always issued to stop either party from acting in a particular manner while their case is still pending before the court. Therefore, in essence, no litigant obtains judgement through injunction. Injunction either interim or interlocutory is literarily an equitable temporary remedy set out by the court to make sure that neither of the parties in a litigation would refrain from or even perform specific acts that would harm each other’s interests.

As a matter of fact, a party who is not satisfied with the decision of the court on granting interlocutory and interim injunctions can still appeal such injunction and then apply for stay of proceedings pending the determination of his appeal on the injunction. The appeal court can still agree with the appellant when he is able to prove that the trial judge erred in law or has exceeded his discretion which resulted to a substantial injustice.

When the High Court granted Afolabi’s application of interim injunction, Oshimhole had two choices by law ; to either obey the interim injunction of the FCT High Court and vacate office pending the determination of the main and substantive suit or file an appeal challenging the interim injunction at the appeal court.

He finally chose the latter by appealing against the interim injunction at the Court of Appeal which he lost on 16th of June, 2020.

The main suit between Oluwale Afolabi and Oshiomhole is still pending before the Federal High Court,and the court is yet to adjudicate upon that matter.
Oshiomhole may win the substantive case or even lose to Afolabi, but that’s not the reason for this analysis as I cannot preempt the court.

The point is that the interim injunction granted by the Federal High Court and concurred to yesterday by the appeal court does not represent court judgment and can’t be misunderstood to be such. An injunction of the court is different from court judgement. In Oshiomhole’s case, the Federal High Court is yet to adjudicate upon the matter. What does it then imply? The implication is that no court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria has concurred with the suspension of Oshiomhole by his ward as wrongly reported by most journalists and media houses.

However, while Oshiomhole is standing as a respondent to the suit instituted against him by Oluwale Afolabi, I advice him to institute an action before the court challenging the procedure which led to his ward suspension as an APC member or seek alternative means of resolving the issue, else even if he wins the suit instituted against him by Afolabi, it doesn’t lift his suspension.


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