The All Progressive Congress (APC) has told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that the comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday that the tenure elongation of the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) was unconstitutional, carry no weight.
The APC, through its counsel, J.B Dauda (SAN), made the submission yesterday at the resumed hearing of a suit filed by four chieftains of the party seeking to stop the tenure elongation of Oyegun and other national and state officers of the party.
According to Daudu, “The president is just a member like every other person in the party. His views do not carry weight as far as the hierarchy of the party is concerned. His voice cannot overshadow the voice of the majority.
“No matter how eminent a person is, the law must be followed and not personal view.”
He, however, told the court that the party will be challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
This is to enable parties file and exchange process and other relevant documents.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the APC had, at its meeting held on February 27, extended the four-year tenure of the party officials due to expire on June 30, 2018, by one year.
The plaintiffs had, on March 15, obtained an ex parte order directing the defendants to show cause why members of the NWC of the APC should not be barred from parading themselves as national officials of the party.
The plaintiffs are Ademorin Kuye from Lagos State; Sani Mayanchi from Zamfara State and currently the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state; Are Mutiu also from Lagos State, and Machu Tokwat from Kaduna State.
One of the plaintiffs, Kuye, claimed to be aspiring to run for the office of the National Legal Adviser of the party, while the other plaintiffs claimed they were aspiring to run for the offices of the chairman of the party in their respective states – Zamfara, Lagos and Kaduna.
The plaintiffs, among other prayers, are asking for orders temporarily halting the implementation of the tenure extension, pending the hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction.
Counsel to APC, Daudu, however, submitted that the matter was not ripe for hearing and that the court should give specific direction on the time allotted for filing and exchange of processes.
Counsel to Oyegun, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) aligned with the submission of Daudu.