The row over status of the Caretaker /Extraordinary Convention (CECPC) of All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened yesterday.

This followed a request by a chieftain, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa,  to declare the committee illegal.

Bolarinwa, who was removed from office by CECPC as chairman of the party in Kwara State, alleged that it was wrong for the CECPC Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, and his counterparts from Niger and Osun states to preside over affairs of APC.

He said as serving governors, they have allegedly violated sections 183 and 223 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended).

He asked the court to determine whether or not the appointment of an executive director in Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) bank and a senior special assistant to the President on National Social Investment Programmes into CECPC was  legal.

Bolarinwa said the appointment of the two officers was not legal, judging by Article 17(IV) of the APC Constitution and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended).

He urged the court to determine whether the appointment of the 2nd-and 14th defendants; chairman and members of CECPC; was not legal without ratification of the Board of Trustees of the 1st defendant, having regards to Article 18 (II) of the APC Constitution.

He said the court should take a position on the legality of the decision of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) on 8th December 2020 to extend the CECPC tenure.

Those joined in the suit are APC(1st defendant); the Chairman of CECPC, Mai Mala Buni (2nd defendant); John Akpanudodehe (3rd defendant); Abubakar Bello (4th defendant); Governor Isiaka Oyetola (5th defendant); Stella Okotete(6th defendant); Prof. Tahir Mamman (7th defendant) and Sen. Ken Nanmani(8th defendant).

Others are Sen. Abubakar Yusuf (9th defendant); Akinremi Olaide (10th defendant); Dr. James Lalu (11th defendant); Chief David Lyon (12th defendant); Sen. Abba Ali (13th defendant); Ismaeel Buba Ahmed (14th defendant) and the Acting Chairman of APC Caretaker Committee in Kwara State, Abdullahi Samari.

Bolarinwa’s application was filed on August 16, 2021 with Suit No. CV/2006/2021.

Although no date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter, the plaintiff has engaged a 15-man legal team headed by O.M. Atoyebi (SAN).

He asked the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Abuja Judicial Division to determine 14 issues, including some of the following:

”Whether the appointment of 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants being serving governors of Yobe, Niger and Osun states of Nigeria respectively as chairman and members of the Caretaker /Extraordinary Convention (CECPC) of the 1st defendant, made on 25th June, 2020, is illegal and unconstitutional, having regards to the provisions of sections 183 and 223 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(As amended).

“If Question No.1 above is answered in the positive, whether  the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants functioning as chairman and members of the Caretaker /Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) of the 1st Defendant, pursuant to their purported appointment  to those  capacities on 25th June, 2020 being a gross violation of Sections 183 and 2123 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 199(As amended) will not operate to disentitle  the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants from the immunity provisions  of Section 308 of the constitution.

“Whether the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendants, who are in gross  violation of sections 183 and 223 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(As amended) by serving governors of Yobe, Niger and Osun states respectively, and at the same time as chairman and members of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the 1st defendant pursuant to appointment to those party offices purportedly made on 25th June 2020, are entitled  to the immunity granted under Section  308 of the same constitution.

“Whether the appointment  of the 2nd, 4th, 5th , 6th and 14th defendants, being respectively serving governors of Yobe, Niger and Osun states of Nigeria, Executive Director in Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) bank and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Social Investment Programmes respectively, as chairman and members of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) made on 25th June 2020 is not legal having regards to the provisions of Article 17(IV) of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and Section 223 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(As amended).

“Whether the appointment of the 2nd-14th defendants a of the 1st defendants chairman and members of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) made on 25th June 2020 is not legal having regards to the provision of Section 223 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of  Nigeria(As amended).

“Whether the appointment of the 2nd-14th defendants of the 1st defendants chairman and members of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) made on 25th June 2020 is not legal without the ratification of the Board of Trustees of the 1st defendant, having regards to the provisions of Article 18(II) of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Whether the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the 1st defendant, made on 8th December 2020 to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) of the 2nd defendant for a period of  six(6) months is not valid having regards to Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution  of Nigeria(As amended), Article 17(IV) of the APC and Article 18(II) of the constitution of APC and Section 223 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria(As amended).

“Whether the notice issued by the 2nd-14th defendants on 25th July 2021, acting as members of the CECPC of the APC for the conduct of the Ward, Local Government, State congresses is not illegal, null and void, having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), Article 17(IV) of the APC and Article 18(II) of the constitution of APC.

“Whether by the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC(1st defendant), to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) for six months  from 8th December, 2020 till 7th June, 2021, the Ward Congresses of the APC conducted on July 31st, 2021 and supervised by 2nd-14th defendants as set out in the notice  of congress, is not illegal, null and void, having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As amended), Article 17(IV) of the constitution of APC.

“Whether by the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC(1st defendant), to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee(CECPC) for six months  from 8th December, 2020 till 7th June, 2021, the  Local Government and State Congresses  of APC to be conducted and supervised by the 2nd-14th defendants as set out in the  notice of congress is not illegal, null and void having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As amended), Article 17(IV) of the Constitution of APC.

“Whether the 2nd-14th defendants , acting  as CECPC, can validly remove the claimant from office as the chairman of APC having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As amended), Article 17(IV) of the constitution of APC.

“Whether the 2nd-14th defendants, acting  as CECPC, can validly appoint the 15th defendant as the caretaker Chairman of APC, Kwara State chapter having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As amended), Article 17(IV) of the constitution of APC.”

He asked the court for these consequential reliefs:

  • A declaration that governors Mai Mala Buni (2nddefendant); Abubakar Bello (4thdefendant); Isiaka Oyetola (5th defendant), being serving governors of Yobe, Niger and Osun states of Nigeria respectively, their appointment as chairman and members of CECPC of the APC made on 25th June 2020 is illegal and unconstitutional having regards to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended).
  • A declaration that having violated the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), Governors Mai Mala Buni (2nddefendant); Abubakar Bello (4thdefendant); Isiaka Oyetola (5th defendant) are not entitled to immunity granted under Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • A declaration that the appointment of Mai Mala Buni(2nddefendant); Abubakar Bello(4thdefendant); Isiaka Oyetola(5th defendant), Stella Okotete(6th defendant); and Ismaeel Buba Ahmed(14th defendant) being serving Executive Governors of Yobe, Niger and Osun states of Nigeria, Executive Director in Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) bank and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Social Investment Programmes as chairman and members of CECPC of the APC made on 25th June 2020 is illegal having regards to the provisions of Article 17(IV) of the constitution of the party.
  • A declaration that the appointment of 2nd-15thdefendants as chairman and members of CECPC of the APC on 25th June 2020 without the ratification of the Board of Trustees of the APC is illegal and void having regards to the provisions of Article 18(II) of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
  • A declaration that the decision of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC (1stdefendant), made on 8th December 2020, to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) for a period of six months is illegal and unconstitutional having regards   to Section 183 and Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), Article 17(IV) and Article 18(II) of the Constitution of APC.

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