- The ruling APC appears to have been thrown into a fresh crisis as some of its members have asked the court to stop the party's planned national convention
- In a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, three key APC members asked the court to restrain the party's acting chairman to conduct the convention
- The aggrieved APC members said their party should not hold the convention because it failed to conduct congress in all the 36 states and the FCT
FCT, Abuja - Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker- and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from holding the party’s national convention in February.
According to report by The Nation, the aggrieved members are:
- Suleiman Usman (an APC registered member in Nyanya ward, Federal Capital Territory, FCT)
- Muhammed Shehu (Banga ward, Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara state)
- Audu Emmanuel (Furfuri ward, Bungudu LGA, Zamfara state.
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The defendants in the suit are the APC, the chairman of the CECPC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The aggrieved APC members' arguments
Legit.ng gathers that the aggrieved members in a suit filed by their lawyer, Olusola Ojo, argued that the APC would be violating its constitution if allowed to proceed to hold its national convention in February.
They contended that having not conducted congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT, the APC could not legitimately hold a national convention.
The plaintiffs stated, in a supporting affidavit, that the APC held its state congresses on October 16, 2021 in 34 states, with the exclusion of Anambra and Zamfara states.
“After the state congresses of the first defendant (APC) held on 16th October, 2021, several aggrieved members of the first defendant and aspirants that participated in the congresses filed actions in various courts, challenging the conduct of the congresses on grounds of irregularities and non compliance with the first defendant’s constitution and the electoral law.
“Without concluding the state congresses of the first defendant in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, and resolving all the court actions pending against the outcome of the state congresses, the first and second and defendants moved on to schedule the national convention of the first defendant for February 2022 in flagrant disregard to the pending court actions.
“By the provisions of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress and the Alectoral Act, states’ executive members of the first defendant are the ones to participate in the national convention of the first defendant for the purpose of electing national executive members for the first defendant.
“All members of the first defendant in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory reserve the rights under the law to participate in the national convention of the first defendant through the state executive members of the first defendant as delegates.
“The states where no state congresses have been held and no state executive members have been elected for the first defendant cannot participate in the scheduled national convention of the first defendant scheduled for February, 2022 to elect national executive official of the first defendant.
“If the first and second defendants go ahead to conduct the national convention of the first defendant slated for February, 2022 without first concluding the state congresses in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, a large number of members will be disenfranchised and denied the right to participate in the national convention of the first defendant and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be breached.”
What the aggrieved APC members want
They want the court to among others, declare that having regard to sections 40 and 224 of the Constitution, and Article 20 of the APC constitution, the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) cannot validly organise and conduct a national convention of the party pursuant to section 85(3) of the. Electoral Act, without first conducting state congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT.
The plaintiffs also want the court to issue an order restraining the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) from organising and conducting the national convention of the first defendant unless state congresses of the first defendant are first concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
They are equally praying the court to direct the APC and the CECPC to first conduct state congresses of the in Anambra state and Zamfara states before the party’s national convention could be scheduled and conducted.
The plaintiffs want the court to restrain INEC from giving approval/effect to any action of the first and second defendants to organise and conduct national convention of the APC unless state congresses of the party are first conducted/concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The suit filed on Tuesday, January 4 is yet to be assigned for hearing.
National convention: Buhari, APC governors to decide date on Sunday, January 9
Meanwhile, there are indications that the APC national convention slated for February 2022 may hold. This is coming as APC governors are set to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, January 9, to decide on a date for the convention.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with the president in his office on Friday, January 7.
Recall that Buhari warned the party leadership of what may happen if they fail to close ranks to project APC ahead of the 2023 general elections.