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Multiple suits threaten APC NEC meeting, crisis deepens

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There was uncertainty on Thursday over the All Progressives Congress National Executive Committee  meeting scheduled to hold on Tuesday as multiple lawsuits and injunctions  worsened the crisis in the party.

On Thursday, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered that the NEC meeting  must not hold except a former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi; Waziri Bulama and Paul Chukwuma, were allowed to attend.

This is just as another Federal High Court in Ekiti fixed March 23, 2020 for hearing in a suit challenging the appointment of Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the APC.

Also on the contentious NEC meeting and the suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the Court of Appeal in Abuja will on Monday hear the appeal filed by  Oshiomhole to challenge his suspension  by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, on March 4.

But  in Lagos on Thursday,  the  Federal High Court in a ruling by Justice Mohammed Liman, restrained the APC and its officials from “disturbing, preventing or obstructing Bulama, Ajimobi and Chukwuma from carrying out their duties as acting national secretary, acting national deputy chairman (South) and acting national auditor of the APC, respectively.”

Justice Liman’s orders followed an ex parte application filed by the Lagos State Chairman of the APC, Tunde Balogun, which was argued by his lawyer, Gani Bello.

Balogun, who is a professed loyalist of the APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu, prayed the court to compel the APC to recognise Bulama as the party’s acting National Secretary; Ajimobi, as the acting National Deputy Chairman (South); and Chukwuma, as the acting National Auditor of the party.

He told the court that after the three offices became vacant and were zoned to different geopolitical zones, Bulama was nominated by the North-East; Ajimobi, by the South-West; and Chukwuma, by the South-East.

Balogun said the nomination of Bulama was ratified at the meeting of the APC National Working Committee held on January 14, 2020; while those of Ajimobi and Chukwuma were ratified at the NWC meeting of March 4, 2020.

He stated, “By virtue of the ratification stated above, the nominees have become members of the National Executive Council and are entitled by the constitution of the defendant (APC) to work and operate in acting capacities in their respective offices pending their swearing-in at the National Convention of the party.

“In spite of the foregoing, the defendant (APC), acting through its officials and officers, particularly, the Deputy National Secretary, has not allowed the nominees to perform their duties as members of the National Executive Council,” Balogun said.

Balogun prayed the court to compel the APC to recognise them.

After listening to the applicant’s lawyer, Justice Liman granted the prayers and adjourned till March 25, 2020 to take the Motion on Notice.

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