BREAKING: Impending Shake-Up In APC? Court To Determine Legality Of Ganduje’s Chairmanship In June 13 Hearing

A Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled a hearing for June 13 in the suit seeking to sack the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje. Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date on Thursday, May 30, when it was realised that all parties in the case had not filed all required documents for the hearing of the case.....Read The Full Story Here ▶

The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/599/2024 was filed by a group – the North Central APC Forum – led by Saleh Zazzaga.

At the mention of the case on Thursday, the lawyer to the plaintiff, Ayuba Abdul, said the business of the court for the day was the hearing of the plaintiff’s motion ex-parte for substituted service of the originating processes on Ganduje (1st defendant).

Abdul said he was surprised to see Ganduje’s lawyer in court even when he had not yet properly served with the court documents.

He said all efforts made by the court’s bailiff to serve the APC Chairman were unsuccessful.

Justice Ekwo then asked Ganduje’s lawyer, Sunusi Musa (SAN) if he was ready to receive the documents on behalf of his client.

Sunusi agreed to accept the documents on behalf of his client. Abdul however, said the documents were with the court’s bailiff.

Abdul acknowledged the receipt of a counter affidavit and notice of preliminary objection filed by the APC, listed as the second defendant.

Justice Ekwo then adjourned till June 13 for a hearing of the substantive suit along with the preliminary objection.

The judge ordered parties to file and respond to all applications in the suit before the next adjourned date.

He directed that a hearing notice be issued on INEC.

The plaintiff wants the court to, among others, urge to restrain Ganduje from further parading himself as the chairman of the APC.

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It also wants the court to issue an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (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 plaintiff contends that Ganduje is occupying the office of the APC Chairman illegally, not being from a state in the North Central geo-political zone.

The plaintiffs argued that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC breached the party’s constitution when it appointed Ganduje, from Kano State in the North West geo-political zone to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State in the North Central geo-political zone.

It also 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 National Executive Committee of the party.

The plaintiff 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 and ought to appoint a member from Nasarawa State in the North Central geo-political zone into the office of the Chairman of the party.

Listed as defendants, in the suit filed for the plaintiff by its lawyer, Ayuba Abdul, are Ganduje, the APC, and INEC.

The plaintiff wants the court to among others, declare that by Article 20(1) of the APC constitution 2013 as amended, Ganduje cannot be appointed as the National Chairman of the party other than through democratically conducted elections and that his current occupation of the office is illegal.

It equally seeks a declaration that by the provisions of Article 13 of the APC constitution 2013 (as amended), the party’s National Convention is the final authority of the party which has the power to elect or remove National Officers of the party including the National Chairman of the party.

The plaintiff also wants a declaration that the party’s National Executive Committee lacked the power to appoint any person to the office of the Chairman.

It is equally praying the court for the following orders:

*An order setting aside the appointment of the first defendant (Ganduje) as the Chairman of the second defendant (APC), same having not followed duly laid down procedures of the second defendant as enshrined in the second defendant’s constitution.

*An order directing the third defendant (INEC) not to recognize all actions taken (including, but not limited to party congresses, primaries, and nominations) by the second defendant during the tenure of chairmanship of the first defendant, from August 3, 2023, till date, same being actions done under an illegal Chairman.

*An order directing the third defendant to compel the second defendant to conduct a fresh convention for the sake of electing a National Chairman or appoint another National Chairman from Nasarawa State from the North Central geo-political zone in line with Article 31.5(i) of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress, 2013 (as amended).

Explaining the rationale behind the case, Zazzaga, said it is intended to ensure fairness and justice because the party has continued to ignore his group’s members’ request that the right thing be done.

He said the progress of the APC is still their ultimate desire and urged the party to immediately do the needful to avoid any form of internal revolt that would give their opponents an advantage over them.

Zazzaga added that doing the needful will avert any undesirable uncertainty for the party in the near future, arguing that Ganduje’s occupation of the position of the party’s National Chairman was not in the interest of the APC.

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