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Court Adjourns Suit Seeking Removal Ganduje As APC National Chairman Till July

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Court Adjourns Suit Seeking Removal Ganduje As APC National Chairman Till July

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned till July 5 the suit seeking to remove the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, from office.

Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the case to allow the litigants to 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.

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

They also 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 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.

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