Five months after All Progressives Congress (APC) dissolved the party’s National Working Committee, a former ex-acting chairman of the party, Hilliard Eta, has dragged APC before a Federal High Court in Abuja asking that it nullify the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party.
Eta further asked the court to declare him as the Acting National Chairman of the party pending when another convention would be held by APC.
Listed as defendants in the suit filed by Eta, APC former National vice-chairman, were Mai Mala Buni in his capacity as chairman of the caretaker committee; 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.
In the suit which the plaintiffs joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the sixth defendant, the applicant argued that by virtue of Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 17 (iv) of the constitution of APC, it was illegal 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.
The plaintiff further claimed 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.
Eta has also asked that the court set 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.
Although no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit, it would be recalled that 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.