A former National Vice Chairman and ex-acting chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Hilliard Eta, has dragged the party before a Federal High Court in Abuja asking it to nullify the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party and declare him as the Acting National Chairman of the party.
The National Executive Committee of the APC had at its meeting held at the Presidential Villa on June 25, dissolved the party’s National Working Committee, led by the then suspended National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
At the meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, NEC set up the caretaker committee and appointed the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the chairman of the committee.
Listed as defendants in the suit are Mai Mala Buni in his capacity as chairman of the caretaker committee; John Akpan Udoedehe as the National Secretary; as well as Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Governor Sani Bello of Niger State, and Stella Okotete, as members of the committee.
The plaintiffs joined the Independent National Electoral Commission as the sixth defendant.
The plaintiffs argued among others that by virtue of Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 17 (iv) of the constitution of the APC, it was an illegality and a void act for a person to hold an executive office in the government simultaneously with an office in any organ of the APC at any level, in whatever capacity.
They also argued that by virtue of same Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution, Article 17 (i) and (iv) and 20 (i) (a) of the APC constitution, the purported removal of the duly elected officers of the party on June 25, 2020, was void and did not affect the rights of the duly elected officers of the APC to continue with the discharge of the duties for which they were elected.
The plaintiffs are therefore seeking, among others, an order setting aside and nullifying the appointment and constitution of the 1st to 5th defendants into a caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC.
They also want another order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from continuing to hold out, present and or parade themselves as the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC or from taking any steps whatsoever as National Chairman, National Secretary or members respectively of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC.
They further prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from recognising and/or continuing to recognise the 1st to 5th defendants as National Chairman, National Secretary or members respectively of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee of the APC and another order mandating the sixth defendant (INEC) to recognise and deal with the second plaintiff – Hilliard Eta as the Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.