Published 3rd August 2021
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been asked to sack the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and nullify all the actions taken by the committee so far.
The request forms part of the reliefs in a suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/1824/2021 filed by Okosisi Emeka Ngwu, who claimed to be a member of the APC.
Listed as defendants are the APC and all members of the CECPC including Buni, Isiaka Oyetola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sani Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf,Hon. Akenyemi Olaide, David Leon, Abba Ali, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Ismail Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
The plaintiff raised four questions for the court’s determination:
*Whether there is any organ of the APC known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee created in or by the constitution of the party.
*Whether the organization known and called caretaker/extraordinary planning committee is one of the organs created by Article 11 of the constitution of the political party known and called the APC.
*Whether pursuant to section 87(4) (b) (1) of the Electoral Act (as amended) any other organ of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of a congress for the purpose of nominating the governorship candidate of the political party Including the APC apart from the National Executive Committee of the party.
*Whether a valid candidate or officer of the party can emerge from a congress fixed by any other organ of a political party outside the National Executive Committee of a political party including the APC.
Ngwu particularly wants the court to dissolve the APC’s CECPC, arguing that there is no organ of the party or any such organization in the party’s constitution.
He also wants a declaration that pursuant to section 87(4)(b)(1) of the Electoral Act (as amended), only the National Executive Committee of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of primaries for the nomination of the gubernatorial or other candidates of the political party.
Ngwu is also praying the court to declare that unless an election is conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and by an organ known to and created by the constitution of the APC, no valid candidate can emerge from such a primary.
Ngwu who stated that he wanted to contest the position of the national chairman of the party in 2018, has further urged the court to grant an order set tong aside all actions and decisions taken by members of CECPC of the party.
He stated, in a supporting affidavit that he had wanted to contest for the National Chairman of the party in 2018 after the tenure of the then national chairman of the party expired but was prevailed upon to allow Adams Oshiomhole to be returned unopposed.
Ngwu said he was prevailed upon to sheath his ambition because he (Oshiomhole) had only four years to be in office and then he will contest the election for the position of the national chairman.
“After just two years, I was surprised to hear that the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee had been dissolved and a contraption known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had been created by an unknown person and Mai Mala Buni asked unilaterally to head the committee.
“I was surprised as by the constitution of the party, the National Executive Committee would be in office for four years until June 22, 2022.
“My supporters and I also knew that only a duly elected National Executive Committee could validly hold any primaries to nominate candidates for the party for the various elections to be held between the day of the dissolution of both the National Executive Committee anf National Working Committee.
“The CECPC is unknown to our party’s constitution and it is operating without reference to the party’s constitution,” the plaintiff stated.