By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
Despite ongoing effort to reconcile warring factions in the All Progressive Congress, APC, the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, VON, Chief Osita Okechukwu, on Friday, insisted that the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is no longer a valid member of the party.
Okechukwu, while reacting to the decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja to indefinitely adjourn the hearing on the appeal Oshiomhole lodged to challenge the High Court order that suspended him from office as the National Chairman of the APC, said he was sceptic that the current peace overtures would restore normalcy in the party.
According to the VON DG: “Without prejudice to the ongoing trial, whether the Appeal Court sat today or not, it must hold session someday, and the main issue remains whether a man suspended by his ward executive can preside over same association?
“The truth is that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is no longer validly a member of APC.
“Don’t forget that Comrade validated the suspension of Barrister Inua Abdulkadir, vice chairman North West, by his ward. It’s trite law that one cannot approbate and re-approbate.
“Like Super King, he glossed over his suspension and our great party’s constitution is scant with time, for it allows only seven days to appeal.
“As of now, permit me to state that one was impressed with Mr President intervention, which is fatherly. Secondly, I was also enthused by Comrade Adams Oshimohole’s statement that ‘I have learnt my lesson. I have asked everyone, whatever they consider being my shortcomings, for forgiveness and they have forgiven me. I was humbled yesterday at the court.”
“We all factually need peace.
However, as a student of Political Science and one who devoted time to study dictatorship, I am skeptical and bidding my time to believe hook line and sinker Comrade Oshiohmole.
“As a Christian, I may have forgiven him, but not all have, for history is not a witness in many instances, where a dictator has changed his colours.
“If he changes for good that will be an exception and we will glorify Almighty God that the virus has been curbed.
One event which will soonest test Comrade’s commitment to the statement cited above, in the next few days or weeks, is the resolution of Edo State APC’s imbroglio.
“Albeit, without being cynical Pa Bisi Akande’s Committee cannot resolve it without his openness. The way and manner he spearheads the reconciliation with his brethren in Edo State, before the arrival of the Akande Committee will tell us whether the Osho-Virus is receding.
“In Edo, he holds the peace banner and crisis flag”, Okechukwu stated.
It will be recalled that Justice Danlami Senchi of the FCT high court at Jabi had in a ruling on March 4, ordered Oshiomhole to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC, pending the determination of a substantive suit that was brought against him by six aggrieved members of the party.
The plaintiffs, Mustapha Salihu, Anslem Ojezua, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Oshawo Steven, Hon. Fani Wabulari and Evang. Princewill Ejogharado, had in their suit, insisted that Oshiomhole had no right to continue to perform the duties of the National Chairman of the APC, having been suspended as a member of the party from his Etsako ward 10, in Edo State.
They argued that since his suspension remained extant, his rights as a member of the party had abated.
Though the court fixed April 7 to hear the substantive matter, it, however, agreed with the plaintiffs, noting that Oshiomhole failed to appeal against his suspension from the party.
Justice Senchi, held that the 2nd Respondent (APC), wrongfully retained Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party in view of the affidavit evidence before the court.
Consequently, aside temporarily suspending him from office, the trial judge directed the party to stop acknowledging Oshiomhole as its National Chairman, adding that he should be denied access to the party’s Secretariat.
However, the Court of Appeal in a ruling on Monday, stayed the execution of the high court order, pending the determination of Oshiomhole’s appeal.
The order of the appellate court followed an ex-parte application Oshiomhole filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.
The court said it was satisfied that there was an emergency situation that required its immediate intervention.
Though hearing of the substantive appeal was fixed for Friday, however, the appellate court failed to sit, even as it adjourned the case indefinitely.