The All Progressives Congress (APC) has explained why its National Working Committee (NWC) led by Adams Oshiomhole was sacked.
By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
The party, in documents filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja by its lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said the sack of the Oshiomhole-led NWC was informed by the needs to end the various internal crises that pervaded the party’s rank and file.
APC, in a counter-affidavit it filed against a suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/736/2020 by Kalu Agu, who claimed to be a member of the party in Abia State, said the crises that had characterised its affairs ended immediately the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni was put in place.
It argued the suit by Agu was designed to destabilise the party’s current peace building and reconciliation efforts.
Agu is, by his suit, challenging the June 25, 2020 decision by the APC to sack the Oshiomhole-led NWC.
APC further said that Buni and other members of its National Caretaker Committee are eminently qualified for their appointment and pleaded with the court to dismiss the suit.
In another application, the party wants the court to reject a motion by Agu, seeking to have the case heard during its ongoing vacation and to abridge parties’ time to file their processes.
The APC faulted Agu’s claim that the suit was pre-election in nature and ought to be determined within 180 days.
Fagbemi, who also represents members of the APC Caretaker Committee, listed among the defendants, argued that the suit has no particular life span.
He added that the subject of the suit did not relate to any particular election.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo has scheduled ruling for September 18 on whether or not the case could be heard during the court’s ongoing long vacation.
Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sank Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Hon Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Professor Their Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Senator John Akpanudoedehe.
It is the plaintiff’s contention the party’s constitution guarantees four year tenure for its officials, and that in breach of the same constitution, APC’s NEC, at a meeting on June 25, 2020, at the presidential villa Abuja, “passed an illegal and unlawful resolution dissolving the NWC and also setting up an illegal caretaker committee of the NWC.”
Agu stated that members of APC’s NWC had barely spent two years out of their four years in office before they were purportedly dissolved by the NEC.
He wants the court to declare the dissolution of the NWC as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and another declaration that the recognition accorded the caretaker committee is unconstitutional and illegal.
Agu also wants the court to restrain the National Caretaker Committee from putting into effect the resolution of the APC’s NEC meeting passed on June 25, 2020, and to restrain INEC from recognising, dealing with or relating with the caretaker committee in whatever guise to usurp the functions of the NWC.
He equally wants the court to compel INEC to continue to recognise members of the sacked Oshiomhole-led NWC as the authentic national officers of the party.
Agu wants the court to strike down Article 17 of the APC’s constitution, which provided for the appointment of officers into the organs of the party, for being inconsistent with Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 85 of the Electoral Act of 2010.