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APC drags Kano High Court judge before NJC over Ganduje’s suspension

APC drags Kano High Court judge before NJC over Ganduje’s suspension

The All Progressives Congress, on Wednesday, said it had dragged Justice Usman Na’abba of the Kano State High Court before the National Judicial Council for making an ex parte order restraining the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, from further parading himself as the party’s leader.

The restraining order by the judge followed Monday’s suspension of Ganduje by executives of the Ganduje Ward in the Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State.

On Monday, the Legal Adviser of the APC Ganduje Ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State, Haladu Gwanjo, had addressed journalists in Kano, declaring Ganduje suspended.

READ ALSO: CORRUPTION TRIAL: Lawyers brawl over service of charges on Ganduje, wife, son, others

Gwanjo said the APC ward leadership took the decision in view of the bribery allegations hanging on Ganduje’s neck.

He made reference to the bribery charges, involving  $413,000  and N1.38bn, filed by the Kano State Government against Ganduje before the Kano State High Court.

Further to the suspension, the Ganduje ward executives, on Wednesday, took an ex parte application, marked K/M658/2024, before Justice Na’Abba, praying that Ganduje be restrained.

The ex parte application had as applicant, the Ganduje Ward Legal Adviser, Gwanjo; and the ward’s Assistant Secretary, Laminu Baguma.

Listed as respondents in the suit are the APC, APC National Working Committee, the Kano State APC Executive Committee and Ganduje, listed as the fourth respondent.

READ ALSO: Kano High Court halts Ganduje’s leadership, membership of APC

In the copy of the certified true copy of the order, Justice Na’Abba ruled: “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit to maintain status quo ante  as of 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee, restraining the  respondents, whether by themselves, servants, agents and privies, from taking any steps contrary to the decision of the Executive Committee of the Ganduje Ward Executive, which suspends the 4th respondent from the 1st respondent political party pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

Furthermore, he granted the applicants the leave to serve the court papers on the 1st, 3rd and 4th respondents outside the jurisdiction “to wit: at No. 40 Biatyre Crescent, Abuja.”

The judge adjourned the matter till April 30.

Illegality?

But the APC condemned the order, describing it as an illegality.

In the petition dated April 17 and signed by the chairman of Ganduje’s ward and 26 others, the Kano APC appealed to the NJC to evaluate the adherence to judicial guidelines and the constitution in the context of non-interference and political party affairs.

The petition read: “We, the Executive Committee members of Ganduje Ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State, write to formally bring to your attention and seek intervention concerning the actions of Hon. Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba, presiding over Court 4 of the High Court of Kano State, in a ruling involving our party, the All Progressives Congress.

READ ALSO: FINANCIAL CRIMES: Why Ganduje can’t be arraigned as scheduled

“Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba granted an ex parte order suspending Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as a member of the All Progressives Congress and further restrained him from performing his role as the National Chairman.”

The party said that a court summons was never served on Ganduje and further argued that the decision to intervene in the party’s internal affairs without clear and compelling reasons to circumvent the party’s own mechanisms appears to constitute a judicial breach.

“This action sets a concerning precedent regarding the impartiality and scope of judicial intervention in political party governance.

“In light of the above concerns, we respectfully request the National Judicial Council to: conduct a thorough review of the circumstances and justification behind the decision of Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba to issue such orders against Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and assess potential disciplinary measures if it is found that Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba acted beyond his jurisdiction or displayed conduct unbecoming of a judicial officer.”

The position was also shared by the National Legal Adviser of the APC, Prof Abdulkareem Kana, who insisted that the ruling party would neither respect nor obey the court order because it was unlawful.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Kana said they were fully convinced it was an unlawful order granted by a judge who didn’t deem it fit to send the party a court summons.

READ ALSO: Ganduje arraignment, Kano government and presidency involvement

He said, “We all saw the visit of the ward and local government officials to the party chairman today. They are ordinarily the people who should be involved in the trending issues of the purported suspension. We all got information that certain persons suspended the chairman. We immediately filed a complaint to the police and we have copies of it served to the IGP, urging them to investigate the individuals behind it, especially as all the major stakeholders have all shown up to disassociate themselves from the action.

“They did not only distance themselves from the action but also disowned it. We don’t know where all these things are coming from. Our preliminary investigation showed that it was a fraud and a typical 419 situation. Unfortunately, they went too far in raising fraudulent documents and circulating them. We are also hearing this afternoon, we are yet to see any court order, that they have also used the same fraudulent document to obtain an order of the court, which we have heard but not seen yet. Whatever kind of order that might emanate from such a document will also be an order obtained by fraud.

“All of us know that whatever order obtained by fraud is an unlawful order and we are not going to recognise, respect or obey it.”

Stage-managed suspension?

Meanwhile, the embattled APC National Chairman, on Wednesday, described as stage-managed his suspension by the Ganduje Ward in the Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State.

Ganduje said he remained the APC National Chairman, adding that he had met President Bola Tinubu, who assured him that there was no threat to his position.

The embattled APC leader was captured speaking in the Hausa language in a video circulating online.

He was addressing Ganduje APC ward leaders who paid him a solidarity visit.

Addressing the visiting ward leaders, Ganduje said, “Yesterday, I saw Mr President and explained to him that what happened was a stage-managed drama and he agreed. He Commended you (ward leaders) and asked me to tell you to be patient because it was stage-managed and assured that my position as the National Chairman of the APC remained unchanged.”

While receiving the delegation of 27 executive members of his ward at the party secretariat in Abuja, Ganduje said the move to suspend him was orchestrated to deny Tinubu of Kano votes in 2027.

Also in attendance were members of the National Working Committee and executive members of Kano APC.

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