By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
Five aggrieved chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for an injunction to stop the party from going ahead to conduct its planned national convention.
The Plaintiffs- Suleiman Dimas Usman, Muhammed Shehu, Samaila Isahaka, Idris Isah and Audu Emmanuel- told the court that they are members of the party in Zamfara state and the Federal Capital Territory.
They told the court that the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, led by the governor of Yobe state, Mai Mal Buni, is planning to hold a national congress, despite the fact that some states, including Anambra and Zamfara, are without state executives.
In an affidavit they attached in support of the suit, the Plaintiffs, told the court that the party had on October 16, 2020, conducted congresses in only 34 states for the purpose of electing executive committees for the states.
They told the court that no congress was held in both Zamfara and Anambra states, thereby leaving the two states without executives.
The Plaintiffs contended that since both the Constitution of the party and the Electoral Act stipulated that state executives are the ones to vote during national congress, the two states without executive committee members would be disenfranchised and denied the right to participate, should the party proceed to conduct its planned national convention in February.
Besides, they argued that many members of the party had gone to court to challenge the outcome of congresses that held in the 34 states, on grounds of irregularity and non-compliance with the party’s constitution and the Electoral Act.
Cited as Defendants in the suit dated January 4 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/3/2022, are the APC, the Chairman, All Progressives Congress’ Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Mr. Olusola Ojo, are among other things, praying the court to determine; “Whether having regard to sections 40 and 224 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, Article 20 of the Constitution of the APC, the 1st and 2nd Defendants can validly organise and conduct a national convention of the 1st Defendant pursuant to section 85(3) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, without first conducting state congresses of the 1st Defendant in all the 36 states of the Federation and therein want an order, restraining the 1st and 2nd Defendants from organizing and conducting the national convention of the 1st Defendant, unless state congresses of the 1st Defendant are first concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
“An order of directing the 1st and 2nd Defendants to first conduct state congresses of the 1st Defendant in Anambra state and Zamfara state before national convention of the 1st Defendant can be scheduled and conducted”.
As well as, “An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 3rd Defendant from giving approval/effect to any action of the 1st and 2nd Defendants to organize and conduct national convention of the 1st Defendant, unless state congresses of the 1st Defendant are first conducted/concluded in ALL the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.