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APC Crisis: Oshiomhole asks Appeals Court to vacate suspension order

The suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has appealed the Abuja High Court’s decision to suspend and deny him access to party’s national secretariat of the party.
Oshiomhole was suspended, last Wednesday following an application filed by Oluwale Afolabi in January before Justice Danlami Senchi.
The interlocutory injunction application was challenging Oshiomhole’s continued right to parade himself as the party’s national chairman after his initial suspension by his primary ward in Edo State.
But Oshiomhole’s suspension came amidst a power tussle between him and his successor, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
It would be recalled that the tussle has created factions within the ruling party in the state and continues to threaten the party’s unity at the national level.
However, some party leaders have criticised Oshiomhole’s leadership style, blaming it on the APC’s defeat in some states during the last general elections.
In the disclosed appeal documents, Oshiomhole has challenged the court ruling that suspended him.
The defendants in the case include Mustapha Salihu, the deputy chairman of the party (North-East).
But Oshiomhole said last night he remains in charge of the party even as he faces deepening crisis and intrigues by powerful forces within the party to remove him from office.
He 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, last 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.”
Following the court order, the national secretariat of the APC was taken over by policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
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.
However, the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, was at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is as the Nigeria Police Force officials confirmed that the police were keeping watch over the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
It would be recalled that last Wednesday, there was an interim injunction restraining the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
After the visit, he refused to confirm President Muhammadu Buhari’s position in his (Oshiomhole) ordeals.
During a brief telephone chat with newsmen, yesterday, the Media Aide to the former Edo State Governor, Simon Ebegbulem, was asked if President Buhari was solidly behind his principal, and he said “No comment.”
Speaking further, the APC chairman’s aide described the Abuja High Court’s judgment as strange, adding that only the National Working Committee (NWC) of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, according to its constitution, has the power to suspend Oshiomhole.
He added, “The next action as I said yesterday is that our lawyers have filed for Stay of Execution, and they have appealed that ruling, so the whole thing is before the court now. Let’s see how it turns out.
“The issues of whether the court has the powers to sack the national chairman of the party is another issue. These are the issues. The whole thing is strange to us and that’s why we’ve gone back to the court to interpret it because, according to the APC constitution, the only organ that can suspend the national chairman, not even the ward, is the NWC of the NEC.
“That is the only organ that can suspend the national chairman. That is why we went back to the court so as to seek proper interpretation.”
Asked to comment on the jubilation in the camp of the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who, yesterday, mocked his predecessor after the judgment, Ebegbulem said, “I will not comment on anything that has to do with Obaseki.”
But despite all the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Oshiomhole appeared unperturbed, yesterday.
In his first appearance since a FCT High Court in Abuja restrained him from acting as chairman, Oshiomhole was in his usual bubbling mood.
He told a team of journalists in his Aso Drive office, Abuja, yesterday, that there was no need for him to be troubled over developments in the party.
The APC leader, who came out of a meeting in his office believed to be rushing out to catch an engagement in the Villa, asked newsmen at the foyer of his office if they were looking at him with pity.
Decked in his usual Khaki attire, the party chieftain asked the newsmen pointedly: “Are you looking at me with pity?”
Before the journalists could respond, he dashed out smiling to a waiting car.
Oshiomhole also fingered a serving minister and some governors as being responsible for his ordeal in the party.
This is even as he has described himself as a child of light who will always defeat darkness.
Oshiomhole did not name the minister and the governors.
Oshiomhole said this after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The meeting held shortly after news broke, yesterday, that Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Kano had set aside a ruling of the FCT High Court suspending him as the ruling party’s national chairman.
Justice Lewis Alagoa, who ordered that the status quo ante Bellum be maintained, added that pending the hearing of the motion on notice by the applicant, Aliyu Muhammad Rabiu, that the defendants (the APC, Oshiomhole, IG of Police, INEC and DGSS) should not give effect to the purported resolution of Ward 10, Etsako Local Government Area which suspended Oshiomhole.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force says it was keeping watch over the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
This followed last Wednesday’s interim injunction restraining Oshiomhole from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
Sources said that the police and other security operatives were still keeping siege all-through, yesterday, at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the second day running.
Only party staff who reported for work, yesterday, were granted access to their offices while party members who came to the secretariat were turned back.
The security men also permitted journalists assigned to cover the activities of the party access to the secretariat after proper identification.
No fewer than 15 Hilux trucks with armed police men have been station within and around the party secretariat.
Two trucks each was placed at the four main entrances to Blantyre Street where the party office is situated while seven other Hilux trucks.
A Rapid Response Squard (RRS) Peugeot car and a hot water sprinkler truck were also strategically parked along the deserted streets that lead to the secretariat.
It was gathered that the presence of the security men was to maintain peace and forestall attempt by any group to break law and order at the party secretariat.

-Tide

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Posted by on Mar 7 2020. Filed under All Peoples' Congress (APC), Latest Politics, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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