APC Crisis: Court Asked To Nullify State Congresses, Dissolve Buni-Led Committee
By Saliu Gbadamosi – Abuja
On Aug 4, 2021
A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led national caretaker/extraordinary national convention planning committee of the party before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), seeking the nullification of last Saturday’s congresses held across the country, as well as the dissolution of the caretaker committee. The suit, filed by the aggrieved party member, Okosisi Emeka Ngwu, FCT/HC/ CV/1824/2021 and dated August 2, 2021, has all members of the committee as defendants.
The defendants in the suit are Governor Buni; Isiaka Oyebola; Ken Nnamani; Stella Okorete; Governor Sani Bello; Dr James Lalu; Senator Abubakar Yusuf; Honourable Akinyemi Olaide; David Leon; Abba Ali; Professor Tahir Mamman; Ismail Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe. In his originating summon, filed by his counsel, Chief Oba Maduabuchi, Ngwu is seeking the dissolution of the Buni-led caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee, claiming that there is no organ of the party or any such organisation in the party’s constitution.
The claimant further seeks a declaration that pursuant to Section 87(4) (b)(1) of the Electoral Act (as amended), only the National Executive Committee (NEC) of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of primaries for the nomination of the gubernatorial or other candidates of the political party.
He further sought a declaration that unless an election is conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and by an organ known to and created by the constitution of the APC, no valid candidate can emerge from such a primary. He, therefore, urged the court to grant an order setting aside all actions and decisions taken by members of the caretaker committee of the party.
Ngwu, who supported his originating summons with a 10-paragraph affidavit, asked the court to determine, among others, “Whether there is any organ of the APC known as caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee created in or by the constitution of the party.”
The claimant claimed in his originating summons that he had, in 2018, wanted to contest as national chairman of APC after the tenure of the then national chairman of the party expired but was prevailed upon to allow Adams Oshiomhole to be returned unopposed.
According to him, “After just two years, I was surprised to hear that the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee had been dissolved and a contraption known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had been created by an unknown person and Mai Mala Buni asked unilaterally to head the committee. “That I was surprised as by the constitution of the party, the National Executive Committee would be in office for four years until June 22, 2022.
“That my supporters and I also knew that only a duly elected National Executive Committee could validly hold any primaries to nominate candidates for the party for the various elections to be held between the day of the dissolution of both the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee.
“That the CECPC is unknown to our party’s constitution and it is operating without reference to the party’s constitution.”