A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been asked to declare the emergence of the new national officers of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as null and void.
The newly-elected National Working Committee has a former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, as the national chairman.
Others include deputy national chairman (North) ,Senator Lawal Shuaib; deputy national chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni; national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and national legal adviser Dr Muiz Banire, among others.
The new national officers were elected at the national convention of the party onFriday last week.
Members of the party, on the platform of the Conscience Group, had been in court challenging the continued stay in office of the interim National Working Committee of the party, headed by a former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande.
Their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction to stop the conduct of the convention could not be heard before the conduct of the exercise.
The plaintiffs, represented by Chief Iheke Solomon, a litigant-in-person and Chief Nnamdi Olebara, decided to abandon the interlocutory application and pursue the pending application for accelerated hearing, fixed for Thursday.
Respondents in the substantive suit are the APC, Akande, Tijjani Tumsah, who was the the interim national secretary and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The presiding judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, had earlier dismissed APC’s objection to the service of the writ, ruling that the motion was defective since the suit number quoted in the motion for objection was for a different suit.
The plaintiffs were asking the court to hold that the constitutional tenure of the Akande-led interim leadership ended on January 31, 2014, and that all actions taken by it after the said date, including the conduct of the national convention, were null and void.
They argued that since it was the interim leadership that set up the convention committee, headed by the Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamako, which conducted the elections that brought the Oyegun-led new NWC, the entire process was null and void.
They were also asking the court to declare that the constitution that was adopted by the joint merger committee constituted by the various merger parties should be declared as the constitution of APC.
The plaintiff also asked the court to hold that by the said authentic constitution, the tenure of the interim national executive was for six months, from August 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014, and that after the said day, the interim executive became unlawful.
The court was also asked to declare that every decision, action, policy or act of the interim executive after January 31, 2014 was null and void and of no effect.
The plaintiffs said the nationwide membership registration of the party, conducted in this first week of February and the national convention, would be the major casualties of the alleged unlawful acts of the defunct interim executive.
They told the court that an illegal body could not give birth to legal entities.
Meanwhile, the group, on Monday, dissociated itself from the national convention of the party, describing the exercise as an illegality done by an interim body headed by Chief Akande.
The Conscience Group, a group within the APC, said this in a statement, entitled: “The False Apostle of Change and Their Convention- The Struggle Continues” and signed by its national chairman, Chief Anthony Ojemba Chigbo, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Lagos.
Chigbo said the group’s opposition to the convention, was based on the pending of a “lawsuit in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/72/2014 in Court No. 2, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, challenging the legality of the Bisi Akande-led interim national executive.”
Source: Tribune


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