Thursday, 23 September, 2021

APC crisis deepens as Oshiomhole-led NWC approaches court for reinstatement, Buni’s sack


The end is not in sight regarding the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as members of the disbanded Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) have approached the Abuja Federal High Court seeking their reinstatement to their respective offices.

The group, led by Mr. Hilliard Eta, yesterday, asked the court to stop the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) members of the party from going ahead with the planned national convention.

The suit is coming against the backdrop of moves by the NCC to conduct a revalidation of membership registration exercise before fixing a date for the party’s convention next year.

Eta, the plaintiff in the suit, through his Counsel, Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), raise some questions for determination.

Defendants in the suit are Buni, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, Isiaka Oyetola, Sani Bello, Stella Oketete and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the Originating Summons, Buni, Udoedehe, Oyetola, Bello and Oketete are the 1st to 5th defendants, while INEC is the 6th defendant.

The plaintiff, who is a key ally of a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, prayed the court to determine the following questions:

*Whether, having regard to Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and Article 17 (iv) of the Constitution of APC, it is an illegality and a void act for a person to hold an executive office in the government simultaneously with an office in any organ of the APC at any level, in whatever capacity.

*Whether, having regard to the above mentioned, only persons who are not disqualified from holding office by virtue of the constitution may run the affairs of the party, including the holding of a national conventions and congresses of the APC.
*Whether an act perpetuated in violation of the above mentioned is void ab initio, conferring or extinguishing no legal rights whatsoever.

The plaintiffs also prayed the court for the following: “An order setting aside and nullifying the appointment and constitution of the 1st to 5th defendants into a caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the to defendants, acting by themselves or through their agents and servants, from continuing to hold out, present and or parade themselves as the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC or from taking any steps whatsoever as either national chairman, national secretary or members, respectively, of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the six defendant from recognising and or continuing to recognise the 1st to 5th defendants as national chairman, national secretary or members respectively of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC.

In the affidavit in support of the summons, Eta said the NWC reacted to the proposed illegal meeting in a document captioned, ‘Press Statement by APC NWC,’ clearly expressing that the proposed meeting violated the party’s constitution.

He said the first to fifth defendants and those who projected them were duly alerted of the illegality of their act, yet they persisted in such illegality and willful disregard of the organic document of the 1st Plaintiff.