Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) sacked the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) to end its internal crises, documents sighted by The Nation have shown.
The documents are a part of the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the APC by its lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), at the Federal High Court in Abuja. The counter-affidavit is marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/736/2020.
A member of the APC in Abia State, Kalu Agu,had challenged the June 25, 2020 decision of the APC to sack the Oshiomhole-led NWC and appoint a Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni.
Agu asked the FHC to, among others, declare the dissolution of the NWC, led by Oshiomhole, as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
But, the APC argued in its counter-affidavit that the suit by Agu was designed to destabilise its current peace building and reconciliation efforts.
APC further said that Buni and other members of the National Caretaker Committee are eminently qualified for their appointment. It, therefore, pleaded with the court to dismiss Agu’s suit.
In another application, the party asked 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 party 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 however, scheduled ruling for September 18 on whether or not the case could be heard during the court’s vacation.
Other defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sani Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Prof. Their Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Senator John Akpanudoedehe.
Agu contended in his suit that the APC constitution guarantees four-year tenure for its officials and that in breach of the same constitution, the party’s NEC on June 25, 2020 in Abuja, “passed an illegal and unlawful resolution dissolving the NWC and also setting up an illegal caretaker committee of the NWC.”
He argued that Oshiomhole and his team had barely spent two years out of their four years in office before they were removed by the NEC.
The plaintiff also requested another declaration that the recognition accorded the caretaker committee is unconstitutional and illegal.
Agu said the court should restrain the NCC from putting into effect, the resolution of the NEC 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 also 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 constitution, which provides 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.