By Olalekan Awojodu
The ripples caused by last week’s Supreme Court decision on the Ondo State governorship elections has begin to manifest as an All Progressives Congress(APC) chieftain, Okosisi Emeka Ngwu filed a suit before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, seeking for the nullification of all actions taken by the Mai Mala Buni- led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the party.
In the judgment, On do State Governor narrowly escaped being ousted by the Apex Court with a 4-3 decision on the legality of the Mai Buni- led caretaker Committee. Akeredolu, it was argued, was lucky that the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN did not joined the Yobe State governor in the suit.
However, taking a cue from the judgement, Ngwu approached the Abuja court seeking the court to determine the legality of the congress held by the caretaker committee, and by extension, the nullification of the result of the congress nationwide.
The fresh suit marked FCT/HC/CV/1824/2021 and dated August 2, 2021, listed the APC and all members of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee as defendants.
They are Mai Mala Buni; Isiaka Oyebola; Ken Nnamani; Stella Okorete; Governor Sani Bello; Dr James Lalu; Senator Abubakar Yusuf; Hon. Akenyemi Olaide; David Leon; Abba Ali; Prof. Tahir Mamman; Ismail Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
The claimant in his originating summons filed by his counsel, Chief Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), is further asking the court to dissolve the Committee known as and called caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee as there is no organ of the party or any such organization in the party’s constitution.
He further sought a declaration that pursuant to section 87(4)(b)(1) of the Electoral Act (as amended), only the National Executive Committee of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of primaries for the nomination of the gubernatorial or other candidates of the political party.
A declaration that unless an election is conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and by an organ known to and created by the constitution of the APC, no valid candidate can emerge from such a primary.
Ngwu who stated that he wanted to contest the position of the National Chairman of the party in 2018, further urged the court to grant an order to set aside all actions and decisions taken by members of CECPC of the party.
Before seeking the above declaratory reliefs, the claimant posed the following questions to be determined by the court:
“Whether there is any organ of the APC known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee created in or by the constitution of the party.
Whether the organization known and called caretaker/extraordinary planning committee is one of the organs created by Article 11 of the constitution of the political party known and called the APC.
Whether pursuant to section 87(4) (b) (1) of the Electoral Act (as amended) any other organ of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of a congress for the purpose of nominating the governorship candidate of the political party Including the APC apart from the National Executive Committee of the party.
Whether a valid candidate or officer of the party can emerge from a congress fixed by any other organ of a political party outside the National Executive Committee of a political party including the APC.
The originating summons is supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit wherein, the claimant averrred that in 2018, he had wanted to contest for the National Chairman of the party after the tenure of the then national chairman of the party expired but was prevailed upon to allow Adams Oshiomhole to be returned unopposed.
“That he was prevailed upon to sheath his ambition because he (Oshiomhole) had only four years to be in office and then he will contest the election for the position of the national chairman;
That after just two years, I was surprised to hear that the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee had been dissolved and a contraption known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had been created by an unknown person and Mai Mala Buni asked unilaterally to head the committee;
That I was surprised as by the constitution of the party, the National Executive Committee would be in office for four years until June 22, 2022;
That my supporters and I also knew that only a duly elected National Executive Committee could validly hold any primaries to nominate candidates for the party for the various elections to be held between the day of the dissolution of both the National Executive Committee anf National Working Committee.
That the CECPC is unknown to our party’s constitution and it is operating without reference to the party’s constitution”.