Member asks court to sack Buni-led national caretaker committee

Sack the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and nullify all actions so far taken by it,  the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been asked.

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 CECPC members

They are Governor Buni (Yobe State); governors Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger); former Senate President Ken Nnamani; Stella Okorete;  Dr. James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf;  Akinyemi Olaide;  David Leon; Abba Ali; Prof. Tahir Mamman; Ismail Ahmed and Senator John Akpanudoedehe.

The plaintiff raised four posers for the court to decide. They are:

* 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 organisation 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.

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* 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, specifically urged the court to dissolve the APC’s CECPC, arguing that there is no organ of the party or any such organisation in the party’s constitution.

He is also seeking 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.

He 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.

The litigant, 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 setting 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.

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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 national chairman.

The plaintiff said: “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.

Results from parallel Ward congresses will not be entertained from any state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday.

The party told aggrieved members to take advantage of the appeal panels due for inauguration next week to table their grievances.

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Secretary to the party’s Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe foreclosed expectation of those organized congresses not monitored by constituted party officials last Saturday.

The consensus method recommended by the APC leadership and adopted across the country did not go down well with some members, who staged parallel congresses.

The congresses took place in more than 8,147 wards in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

There were skirmishes in some states but it was largely smooth in many states.

A court order stopped the exercise in Bayelsa State and the party postponed in Anambra and Zamfara states.

Speaking on an NTA programme yesterday, Akpanudoedehe directed those uncomfortable with the conduct of the congresses to seek redress before the appeal panel.

He said the party will only accept congress results from ward congress committees constituted and authorised by the CECPC.

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