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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Oshiomhole returns to Court cap in hand



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National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said last night he remains in charge of the party.

Oshiomhole stated this following an interlocutory injunction granted by a Federal Capital Territory High Court that he should step aside pending the determination of a suit filed by six members of the party.

Oshiomhole’s spokesman Simon Egbegbulem said: “We have filed for a stay of execution and appealed the ruling.

“With those processes currently before the Appeal Court, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the national chairman of the party.

Also on Wednesday, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC approved the nomination of Waziri Bulama as the Party’s Acting National Secretary, ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma (National Auditor) of the party.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s National Secretariat.”

The statement added: “Following the resignation of H.E. Mai Mala Buni as the Party’s National Secretary in May 2019 prior to his election as the Governor of Yobe State, the party subsequently gave notice for a replacement from the zone.

“ The NWC has also approved the nominations of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma as the National Auditor following nominations from the respective zones.”

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Following the court order, the national secretariat of the APC was taken over by policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Read Also: ‘Attack on Oshiomhole should stop’

Justice Danlami Senchi,  while delivering his ruling on an  application of interlocutory injunction  by six members of the party,  directed the APC to desist from acknowledging  Oshiomhole  as its  chairman.

He also directed the party not to allow  him  access to its secretariat,  pending the hearing and   determination of the case.

In the application, the plaintiffs, led by Mustapha Salihu, prayed the court to stop  Oshiomhole from acting as APC chairman  since he had  been  suspended as a member of the party  in his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.

They  listed Oshiomhole as  first respondent and   the APC  as  second respondent in  the application filed on their behalf by Oluwole Afolabi.

The plaintiffs  stated  that Oshiomhole’s rights as a member of the party had  ceased by virtue of his suspension at the ward level. They argued that, since  the former Edo State governor never contested the suspension, he  could not continue to act as the party’s chairman.

Justice Senchi said  the former governor, who on his Twitter handle describes himself as “Strategic General Chairman,”   had been wrongfully kept  in office.

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Justice Senchi,who  held that political parties must be bound by their constitutions, said he was of the view that since Oshiomhole had been suspended by his ward, he had no basis parading  himself as the APC national chairman.

He thereafter  adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to April 7, 2020.

The policemen arrived in two batches from the FCT Command and Wuse Divisional Police Station  at about 5pm in nine Toyota Hilux vans. This was  after two court officers served the Legal Department of the APC  the  High Court order.

They positioned themselves in strategic positions in the premises and directed  all staff members  to go back to their offices. Visitors were advised to leave.

Sources within the secretariat said the presence of the security agents was to prevent hoodlums capitalizing on the confusion arising from the court ruling to invade  the secretariat.

Acting National Secretary of the party, Chief Victor Giadom, confirmed that the party had received the court order and will abide by the content.

“We have received the court order and as a law abiding party, we shall respect it,” Giadom told reporter in Abuja.

He added: “As a party, we are aware of the court injunction. As a law abiding party, we  respect all lawful court orders. Very soon, the National Working Committee will meet and you will hear further from the party.

“I am trying to say that APC will respect all lawful court orders. We will soon do that.”

The  acting national secretary defended the presence of the security agents at the secretariat, saying: “there is nothing new about it.”

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