Court Adjourns Suit Seeking Removal Of Ganduje As APC Chairman

Court Adjourns Suit Seeking Removal Of Ganduje As APC Chairman
  • PublishedJune 26, 2024

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned until July 5, a suit seeking the removal of the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje from office.

At the hearing on Wednesday, the court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, said the adjournment was to allow the litigants respond to a counter-affidavit the embattled APC Chairman filed to challenge the competence of the suit.

The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/599/2024, was brought before the court by aggrieved members of the party under the platform of North Central APC Forum.

The plaintiffs, led by one Saleh Zazzaga, are querying the propriety of Ganduje’s appointment as the Chairman of the APC.

They, among other things, want the court to restrain Ganduje from further parading himself as the chairman of the party.

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More so, they prayed the court to issue an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to accord recognition to all actions taken by the APC, including congresses, primaries, and nominations, since Ganduje became APC Chairman on August 3, 2023.

The plaintiffs told the court that Ganduje is occupying the office of the APC chairman illegally, not being from a state in the North Central geopolitical zone.

They argued that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC acted in breach of the party’s constitution when it appointed Ganduje, from Kano State in the North West geopolitical zone, to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who is from Nasarawa State in the North Central geopolitical zone.

The plaintiffs argued that Ganduje’s appointment to replace Abdullahi was contrary to Article 31.5(1) f of the APC constitution and ultra vires the powers of the NEC of the party.

They added that, by the true interpretation of Article 31.5(1) of the APC Constitution 2013 (as amended), the party was bound to comply with the procedure for the replacement of an officer in the event of a vacancy and ought to appoint a member from Nasarawa State in the North Central geopolitical zone into the office of the chairman of the party.

They want the court to, among other things, declare that by Article 20(1) of the APC constitution 2013, as amended, Ganduje, could not be appointed as the National Chairman of the party other than through a democratically conducted election and that his current occupation of the office is illegal.

Besides, the plaintiffs want a declaration that, under the provisions of Article 13 of the APC Constitution 2013 (as amended), the party’s national convention is the final authority of the party, which has the power to elect or remove national officers of the party, including the national chairman of the party.

The plaintiffs also want a declaration that the party’s NEC lacked the power to appoint any person to the office of the Chairman.

Meanwhile, when the case was called up for hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Benjamin Davou, told the court that he would need time to respond to the fresh process that was served on him by Ganduje’s lawyer.

His request for an adjournment was not opposed by counsel to the APC Chairman, Mr. Raymond Asikeni, SAN.

Consequently, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter for hearing.

Equally listed as defendants in the matter are the APC and INEC.

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