•Police, DSS at APC secretariat •Party appoints Ajimobi, Bulama, Chukwuma
NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said last night he remains in charge of the party.
Oshiomhole stated this following an interlocutory injunction granted by a Federal Capital Territory High Court that he should step aside pending the determination of a suit filed by six members of the party.
Oshiomhole’s spokesman Simon Egbegbulem said: “We have filed for a stay of execution and appealed the ruling.
“With those processes currently before the Appeal Court, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the national chairman of the party.
Also on Wednesday, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC approved the nomination of Waziri Bulama as the Party’s Acting National Secretary, ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma (National Auditor) of the party.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s National Secretariat.”
The statement added: “Following the resignation of H.E. Mai Mala Buni as the Party’s National Secretary in May 2019 prior to his election as the Governor of Yobe State, the party subsequently gave notice for a replacement from the zone.
“ The NWC has also approved the nominations of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma as the National Auditor following nominations from the respective zones.”
Following the court order, the national secretariat of the APC was taken over by policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Danlami Senchi, while delivering his ruling on an application of interlocutory injunction by six members of the party, directed the APC to desist from acknowledging Oshiomhole as its chairman.
He also directed the party not to allow him access to its secretariat, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
In the application, the plaintiffs, led by Mustapha Salihu, prayed the court to stop Oshiomhole from acting as APC chairman since he had been suspended as a member of the party in his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.
They listed Oshiomhole as first respondent and the APC as second respondent in the application filed on their behalf by Oluwole Afolabi.
The plaintiffs stated that Oshiomhole’s rights as a member of the party had ceased by virtue of his suspension at the ward level. They argued that, since the former Edo State governor never contested the suspension, he could not continue to act as the party’s chairman.
Justice Senchi said the former governor, who on his Twitter handle describes himself as “Strategic General Chairman,” had been wrongfully kept in office.
Justice Senchi,who held that political parties must be bound by their constitutions, said he was of the view that since Oshiomhole had been suspended by his ward, he had no basis parading himself as the APC national chairman.
He thereafter adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to April 7, 2020.
The policemen arrived in two batches from the FCT Command and Wuse Divisional Police Station at about 5pm in nine Toyota Hilux vans. This was after two court officers served the Legal Department of the APC the High Court order.
They positioned themselves in strategic positions in the premises and directed all staff members to go back to their offices. Visitors were advised to leave.
Sources within the secretariat said the presence of the security agents was to prevent hoodlums capitalizing on the confusion arising from the court ruling to invade the secretariat.
Acting National Secretary of the party, Chief Victor Giadom, confirmed that the party had received the court order and will abide by the content.
“We have received the court order and as a law abiding party, we shall respect it,” Giadom told reporter in Abuja.
He added: “As a party, we are aware of the court injunction. As a law abiding party, we respect all lawful court orders. Very soon, the National Working Committee will meet and you will hear further from the party.
“I am trying to say that APC will respect all lawful court orders. We will soon do that.”
The acting national secretary defended the presence of the security agents at the secretariat, saying: “there is nothing new about it.”