MEMBERS of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who belong to Hon. Rasaq Salinsile led faction of the party in the State of Osun are optimistic that the court case instituted against the national secretariat of the party on the conduct of the ward congress in the state will favour them.
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, on Tuesday, sacked the executive of the APC in Kano State produced by a faction loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, during the last ward congress of the party.
Justice Hamza Muazu of the court upheld the parallel executive members produced from the congress held by the faction loyal to former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Muazu granted all the reliefs by the Shekarau’s faction which sought for a declaration that Ganduje-led group failed to conduct congresses at both the ward and local government levels.
Trouble started for the State APC chapter when both factions held parallel congresses with Abdullahi Abbas emerging chairman of the Ganduje-led group, and Ahmadu Haruna Zago emerging chairman of the Shekarau-led group.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the congresses, Shekarau took the matter to court to determine the authentic faction of the party in the state.
In his ruling, Justice Muazu held that the Shekarau faction was the “duly, valid, proper, authentic and democratically elected and ought to be recognised by the defendants as the duly elected ward executive committee members for each of the 484 Wards in Kano State.”
The Kano case is similar to that of Osun APC’s congress which is now a subject of litigation.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led IleriOluwa and Salinsile led factions of the APC held parallel ward, local and state congresses.
The IleriOluwa faction had insisted on producing the executives of the party through consensus while Salinsile faction said it wanted an elective congresses.
After producing parallel executives of the party, members of the Salinsile faction of the APC approached a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, to challenge the congress held by the IleriOluwa faction.
The APC members who are 2,157 in number are demanding for the cancellation of the Ward Congress conducted by the party through the Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye led committee.
According to the plaintiffs, they were wrongly excluded or prevented from participating by voting or being voted for in the congress by the party.
They argued that the supposed congress held by the defendants was totally in conflict with the guidelines of the exercise and the spirit of justice and fairness expected of the conduct of such programme.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that all of them and all other aspirants/candidates who individually paid the prescribed fees by the party for the procurement of nomination forms for the ward congress are the only eligible aspirants and emerged unopposed.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER in a telephone interview yesterday, one of the lawyers on the case, Mr. Kolapo Alimi said: “The court position on the APC congress in Kano State is a positive signal. It reinstates the saying that court is the last hope of common man to correct any anomalies, most especially from some people who think they can do away with impunity.
“Our case is similar to that of Kano. So, we have every hope that without prejudicing our case, we shall get justice. It is a positive signal to our case. A sitting Governor has been defeated in Kano State, and we are also challenging a sitting governor on similar case. So, we are positive that impunity here too will be fought and justice will be fulfilled.”
When the case came up on Monday, counsel to the respondents, Mr. A.B Adekilekun said a motion has been filed to challenge the jurisdiction of the court on the matter.
The case was adjourned till December 8, for the two parties to address the court on whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case or not.