Alex Enumah in Abuja
The reformed All Progressives Congress (r-APC) thursday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to sack the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying it was not lawfully elected to lead the party.
The rAPC’s suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1734/18 was filed by Alhaji Buba Galadima, Mr. Kazeem Afegbua, Mr. Nicholas Asuzu and Alhaji Hadi Ametuo as plaintiffs.
Sued as defendants alongside the NEC, are members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Chairmen of the 36 States Executive Council (SEC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC.
The suit became public a day after the rAPC asked INEC to nullify Oshiomhole and others’ election on the grounds that it did not conform to the law and the constitution of the party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, had responded that rAPC’s request was frivolous and could not be granted as INEC could not annul an election it did not conduct.
But in the suit filed on behalf of rAPC by its counsel, Mr. Tolu Babalaye, the plaintiffs are praying the court for a declaration that having regard to the constitution of the APC, particularly Article 20 thereof, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the election conducted by the party at the Eagle Square on June 23, 2018 was invalid, null and void.
They also want the court to declare that being no valid election at the national convention of APC, thereby leaving a vacuum, the reform-minded faction of the APC known as the rAPC be validly constituted as the plaintiffs, and that all its national offices and state executives be made to fill the vacuum and act in interim capacities as officers of the APC.
They, therefore, prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st to 52nd defendants from parading themselves or claiming to be officers of APC or performing any discussion as officers of the party in any capacity whatsoever as their elections and swearing in as officers of APC is invalid, null and void.
In addition, the Galadima-led group wants the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining APC from holding the Oshiomhole-led executive council and all the states executive council as either national officers, members of the NWC, zonal executives and state executives of the APC.
They also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining APC from harassing, intimidating, suspending or expelling any of or all the plaintiffs from the APC, or taking any steps whatsoever to terminate their membership, rights and entitlements in the APC.
The plaintiffs also pray for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from recognising or accepting the defendants as either national officers, members of NWC, zonal executives or state executives of the APC.
In addition, the plaintiffs are praying the court to grant an order directing INEC to recognise the plaintiffs who are members of the reform-minded faction of APC as current interim NWC, zonal executives or state executives of the APC and accord them all rights and privileges appertaining to the respective office pending the holding of valid elections by the party.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that the APC is harbouring intractable divisions and the party is awaiting a massive implosion and might collapse finally unless steps are taken by reform-minded members to address the issues.
They also claimed that the situation got out of hand at the congresses recently conducted by the APC at the ward, local government and state levels, culminating in the purported NWC of the party held on June 23, 2018.
In addition, they claimed that APC has become factionalised and this is no longer a secret as the crisis tearing the party to pieces at the national and sub-national levels are in the public domain.
They added that the manner in which the national convention of the party was conducted has deepened the division within the party and exacerbated the leadership crisis from wards to the national level all over the country.
They further added that most members of the party feel alienated and this has resulted in open and massive divisions, factionalisation, and disenchantment within the rank and file of the party.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the matter.