Ahead of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered that the former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi; Waziri Bulama and Paul Chukwuma should be allowed to attend.
Ajimobi, Bulama and Chukwuma were recently named as national officers of the party by the National Working Committee (NWC).
Ajimobi was appointed as Deputy National Chairman (South), Bulama took over as Acting National Secretary, while Chukwuma was named National Auditor.
Some chieftains of the party have, however, rejected the three appointments.
Delivering the ruling yesterday in an ex-parte application filed by the Lagos State Chairman of the APC, Tunde Balogun, as argued by his lawyer, Gani Bello, Justice Mohammed Liman, restrained the APC and its officials from “disturbing, preventing or obstructing Bulama, Senator Ajimobi and Chukwuma from carrying out their duties as acting National Secretary, acting National Deputy Chairman (South) and acting National Auditor of the APC, respectively.”
The Lagos APC Chairman had, in the application, prayed the court to compel the APC to recognise Bulama as the party’s acting National Secretary; Ajimobi, as the acting National Deputy Chairman (South); and Chukwuma, as the acting National Auditor of the party.
He told the court that after the three offices became vacant and were zoned to different geopolitical zones, Bulama was nominated by the North-East, Ajimobi by the South-West and Chukwuma by the South-East.
He said the nomination of Bulama was ratified at the meeting of the APC NWC held on January 14, 2020; while those of Ajimobi and Chukwuma were ratified at the NWC meeting of March 4, 2020.
“In spite of the foregoing, the defendant (APC), acting through its officials and officers, particularly, the Deputy National Secretary, has not allowed the nominees to perform their duties as members of the National Executive Committee,” Balogun said.
He told the court that the APC NEC could not effectively operate unless Bulama, Ajimobi and Chukwuma were allowed to perform their duties.
After listening to the applicant’s lawyer, Justice Liman granted the prayers and adjourned till March 25, 2020 to take the Motion on Notice.
Chief Victor Giadom, who is currently acting as APC National Secretary, while speaking on the order, said he was unaware of the order by a Federal High Court in Lagos over the participation of Ajimobi, Bulama and Chukwma at NEC meeting scheduled to hold on Tuesday next week.
While answering questions from journalists at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, Giadom said: “We will like to see the court order and if that happens we refer back to our constitution. We will take it up from that point.”
He, however, said that the NEC would still hold as scheduled, adding that it behooves the invitees to attend the parley aimed at repositioning the party.
The crises rocking the APC have already divided members of the party’s NWC.
An Abuja High Court on Wednesday restrained three key officials of the party, Messrs Babatunde Ogala, Lanre Issa-Onilu and Waziri Bulama, from interfering in the coming NEC meeting.
Last week, the three personalities enjoined chieftains of the party to ignore the invitation to the NEC credited to Chief Giadom, saying it was illegal for the Deputy National Secretary to convene the meeting.
However, an Abuja High Court presided by Justice S. U. Bature on Wednesday, while considering an ex-parte motion, barred the trio from disrupting the planned NEC meeting pending the determination of the motion on notice already filed by the party’s National Vice Chairman, North East, Mr Mustapha Salihu.
The court in the suit, no: CV/1385/20/20, compelled Giadom to go ahead and convene the NEC as earlier planned.
Meanwhile, a forum of Non-NWC NEC members has opposed the coming NEC meeting, describing it is an abuse of party constitution and illegal conducts by party officers.
A statement signed by the forum’s national chairman, Chief Nelson Alapa, distanced the Non-NWC NEC members from the meeting.
Daily Trust has exclusively reported that the coming NEC meeting has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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