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Court to hear suit seeking to stop Ganduje as APC chairman June 13

Agency Report

45

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, fixed June 13 to hear a suit seeking to restrain Dr Abdullahi Ganduje from parading himself as the National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date to allow parties in the suit regularise their processes.

The North Central APC Forum, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/599/24, had sued Ganduje, APC and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

The forum, led by Saleh Zazzaga, equally sought an order directing the INEC not to accord recognition to all actions taken by the APC, including congresses, primaries and nominations, since Ganduje became APC chairman on August 3, 2023.

The claimant, in the originating summons dated and filed on May 6, contended that Ganduje is occupying the office of the APC chairman illegally, having not been from a state in the North Central Geo-political Zone.

The claimant further argued that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC breached the party’s constitution when it appointed Ganduje, from Kano State in the North West Geo- Political Zone to replace Sen. Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State in the North Central Geo-Political Zone.

The forum argued that Ganduje’s appointment to replace Abdullahi was contrary to Article 31.5(1) f of the APC constitution and ultra vires the powers of the NEC of the party.

It added that by the true interpretation of Article 31.5(1) of the APC Constitution, 2013 (as amended), the party is bound to comply with the procedure for the replacement of an officer in the event of a vacancy.

Therefore, the group said APC ought to have appointed a member from Nasarawa State in the North Central Geo- Political Zone into the office of the chairman of the party.

The forum then wants the court to among others, declare that by Article 20(1) of the APC Constitution, 2013, Ganduje cannot be appointed as the national chairman other than through democratically conducted election and that his current occupation of the office is illegal.

When the case was called on Thursday, claimant’s counsel, Ayuba Abdul, informed the court that the matter was slated for hearing of their motion ex-parte for substituted service of their processes on Ganduje (1st defendant).

Abdul, however, said he was surprised to see Ganduje’s lawyer in court, having not been served with the court documents.

He told the court that all efforts made by the bailiff to serve the embattled APC chair were unsuccessful.

Justice Ekwo then asked Ganduje’s lawyer, Sanusi Musa, SAN, if he was ready to receive the processes on behalf of his client and he responded in affirmative.

But Abdul said the processes were in the custody of the bailiff.

He, however, acknowledged the receipt of the APC (2nd defendant)’s counter affidavit and a preliminary objection from Ishaka Dikko, SAN, who appeared for the party.

Justice Ekwo subsequently adjourned the matter until June 13 for hearing of the substantive suit and the preliminary objection.

The judge, who ordered parties to file and respond to all applications in the suit before the next adjourned date, directed that hearing notice be issued to INEC.

NAN observes that INEC was not represented in court.

NAN

 

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