ALL Progressives Congress (APC) chairman Adams Oshiomhole has filed a suit with the Nigerian Court of Appeal asking it to set aside the injunction passed yesterday suspending him from office pending the hearing of a case against him.
In a dramatic development yesterday, a Federal Capital Territory high court presided over by Justice Danlami Senchi, asked Mr Oshiomhole to step down as APC chairman until a suit filed by the Edo State chapter of the party is heard. Last November, the Edo State chapter of the APC suspended Mr Oshiomhole but he has ignored the development, forcing some party members to file a legal suit against him, saying the chairman must honour the decision.
There have been calls from sections of the APC for Mr Oshiomhole to resign following the decision by the Edo State chapter of the party. Mr Oshiomhole was suspended over his alleged role in the crisis rocking the party in the state that has resulted in infighting between two factions, with one loyal to him and the other to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Challenging yesterday’s court decision, Mr Oshiomhole said he remains in charge of the party and has gone to court to get the injunction set aside. Simon Egbegbulem, Mr Oshiomhole’s spokesman, said that until the appeal is heard, his boss remains the APC chairman.
He added: “We have filed for a stay of execution and appealed the ruling. With those processes currently before the Appeal Court, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the national chairman of the party.”
However, following the court judgment yesterday, the APC national secretariat was taken over by policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services. Meanwhile, the APC’s national working committee (NWC) approved the nomination of Waziri Bulama as the party’s acting national secretary, ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the deputy national chairman (South) and Paul Chukwuma as the national auditor of the party.
APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s national secretariat. Following the resignation of Mai Mala Buni as the party’s national secretary in May 2019 prior to his election as the Governor of Yobe State, the party subsequently gave notice for a replacement from the zone.
“The NWC has also approved the nominations of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the deputy national chairman and Paul Chukwuma as the national auditor following nominations from the respective zones.”
While delivering his ruling on an application of an interlocutory injunction by six party members yesterday, Justice Danlami Senchi, directed the APC to desist from acknowledging Mr Oshiomhole as its chairman. He also directed the party not to allow him access to its secretariat, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
He thereafter adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to April 7, 2020. Almost immediately, policemen arrived in two batches from the Federal Capital Territory Command and Wuse Divisional Police Station at about 5pm in nine Toyota Hilux vans to seal the APC secretariat.