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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

APC CHAIRMANSHIP: Service issue resolved as Ganduje’s lawyer appears in court

APC CHAIRMANSHIP: Service issue resolved as Ganduje’s lawyer appears in court

The Abuja division of Nigeria’s Federal High Court on Thursday fixed June 13 to hear a suit seeking to restrain Dr Abdullahi Ganduje from parading himself as the national chairman of the 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 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

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

READ ALSO: APC, presidency move to remove Ganduje as national chairman – Report

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

Breach of the party constitution?

The claimant further argued that the National Executive Committee 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.

The forum argued that Ganduje’s appointment to replace Mr Adamu 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.

READ ALSO: GANDUJE ARRAIGNMENT: Kano court faces impasse over service of criminal charge

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 prayed 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 was illegal.

Service issue resolved

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 efforts made by the bailiff to serve the embattled APC chairman 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 applications in the suit before the next adjourned date, directed that hearing notice be issued to INEC.

The INEC was not represented in court.

NAN

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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