By Alex Enumah
The suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the suspension order slammed on him on Wednesday by an Abuja High Court.
Oshiomhole in the appeal claimed that the judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Danlami Senchi, erred in law and arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when the court placed him on suspension at an interlocutory stage of a suit instituted against him by some aggrieved members of the party.
In the notice of appeal predicated on four grounds, Oshiomhole said that the High Court further erred in law when it decided that he, in the performance of his duties as APC National Chairman,would interfere in the court action filed against him by the aggrieved members.
Respondents in the appeal are the APC National Vice Chairman, North East, Mustapha Saliu; APC Edo State Chairman, Hon. Anselm Ojezua; Alhaji Sani Gomna, Mr Oshawo Stephen, Hon. Fani Wabulari and Evangelist Princewill Ejogharado.
The rest are the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service.
In the appeal filed by his counsel, Mr Damian Dodo (SAN), Oshiomhole contended that the issue of the performance of his duties as APC National Chairman is a matter which arose from substantive issues for determination and claim and ought not to have been determined at the interlocutory stage of the main matter.
Among other grounds in the appeal, the suspended National Chairman claimed that the trial judge erred in law and arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriage when after ordering the filing of pleadings and immediately set down motion for interlocutory injunction for hearing in the absence of pleadings.
He further faulted the suspension order against him on the grounds that the trial court determined the motion for interlocutory injunction without recourse to triable issues which ought to have been discerned from pleadings.
Justice Danlami Senchi of an Abuja High Court had on Wednesday ordered Oshiomhole to step aside as the National Chairman of the APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit seeking his removal from office as National Chairman of the ruling APC.
Justice Senchi, who gave the order in a ruling on an interlocutory injunction filed by Mustapha Salihu and five others, also ordered Oshiomhole to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC until the issues challenging his leadership of the party is resolved.
The plaintiffs in the application filed on January 16, 2020 and argued by their lawyer, Mr Oluwole Afolabi, had urged the court to declare Oshiomhole’s continued stay in office illegal having allegedly been suspended from the APC.
Arguing the motion with number: M/4292/2020, Afolabi told the court that Oshiomhole had up till now failed to challenge his suspension from the party.
Afolabi had told the court that Oshiomhole’s rights as a member is currently abated and he cannot continue to act as chairman of the party, adding that Oshiomhole cannot continue to enjoy benefits from the APC, despite his suspension as a member of the party.
The Ward 10 executives of the APC had late last year suspended Oshiomhole from the APC. The suspension was ratified by the Etsako West Local Government Executive Committee and was subsequently upheld by the State Executive Committee of the party.
The plaintiffs accordingly prayed the court for an interlocutory order restraining Oshiomhole from parading himself or performing any function as National Chairman of the APC.
Justice Senchi after listening to the submissions of the plaintiffs’ lawyer, granted the interlocutory order as prayed and fixed April 7 and 8 for hearing in the substantive suit.