Court Backs Balogun-Fulani-led Kwara APC Exco

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  • Ruling party rejects verdict

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

A Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, wednesday recognised the executive committee of the Ishola Balogun-Fulani faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

But in a swift response, the national leadership of APC has said its expulsion of the Ishola Balogun Fulani-led APC executive in Kwara State still stands.

In a judgment read by Justice T.S. Umar, which lasted for about one and half hours, the court held that the purported dissolution of the executive committee of the APC led by Balogun-Fulani was illegal, null and void.

The court also held that, as at today, it recognised the executive committee led by Balogun-Fulani as the authentic executive committee of the Kwara state APC chapter.

The court further held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should recognise the list of members of the executive committee presented by the Kwara APC executive committee led by the Balogun-Fulani faction.

Speaking with journalists after the court’s verdict, counsel to Balogun-Fulani faction of the APC, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, said that no cost was awarded for the judgement secured since they did not ask for cost.

Ibrahim also said that the effect of the judgement was that the court has recognised candidates of the Balogun-Fulani faction of the APC, “since it’s the authentic executive committee of the state”.

Also speaking, counsel to the Bashir Bolarinwa faction of the party, Kamaldeen Gambari, said that they were not satisfied with the judgement, adding that the court acted contrary to the facts placed before it.

Gambari, who said that the judgement would not stand, added that he had already filed an appeal against the judgment by the High Court, expressing the hope that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the ruling party has said its expulsion of the Ishola Balogun Fulani-led APC Executive in Kwara State still stands.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, the party said that last judgment of an Ilorin High Court regarding the leadership of the state chapter of APC was being misinterpreted.

APC said: “We wish to restate the National Working Committee (NWC) decision to expel the erstwhile Ishola Balogun Fulani-led APC Executive in Kwara State. This is in view of widespread misinterpretations given to a judgement of an Ilorin High Court on Wednesday,” it said.

Onilu said the decision to expel Ishola Balogun Fulani and others is well within the powers of the NWC which investigated and deliberated on the anti-party activities of the sacked state executive.

According to the party’s spokesman, “it is important to note that direct primaries were used to elect party candidates for Kwara State, hence state executives had no role to play in the primaries. Only candidates that emerged from the direct primary exercise conducted by the NWC inaugurated committee were submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). These candidates remain the authentic flagbearers of APC.

“We therefore urge the good people of Kwara State and indeed the APC members to remain unrelenting in our collective and irreversible movement towards total liberation of the state. The “o to ge” train is on course and has full endorsement of the National Working Committee of the party.”