Saraki’s ‘APC’ loyalists lose at Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court has dismissed a motion brought by former executive committee members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State.

The officials, loyalists of Senate President Bukola Saraki, are challenging their sack by the APC headquarters.

The executive committee, led by Ishola Balogun-Fulani, asked the Supreme Court to nullify its sack by the national leadership of the APC.

The National Working Committee of the APC sacked the state executive committee for alleged anti-party activities and replaced it with a caretaker committee headed by Bashir Bolarinwa.

The officials were also prevented from participating in the 2019 general elections in the state on the APC platform.

A Kwara State High Court in December granted the application of the group against the dissolution and pronounced it the authentic leadership of the APC in the state. But the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment.

Consequently, the aggrieved members approached the apex court in a final attempt for the reinstatement of their committee and declaration of its nominated candidates as the authentic ones for the APC in the state.

They asked the court to prevent the APC national leadership from recognising the Bolarinwa-led state executive committee.

According to the applicants, the motion was a pre-election matter, which ought to be heard within 60 days.

In its ruling, however, the Supreme Court said the application was brought outside the specified time of 14 days, for the filing of such a pre-election matter, making it incompetent.

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Background

Mr Balogun-Fulani’s faction was sacked by the national working committee of the APC led by the party’s chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, after Mr Saraki defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

A few days before Mr Saraki made his move, the state executive of the APC led by Mr Balogun-Fulani had at a press conference in Ilorin accused the presidency and the national leadership of the party of maltreating the Senate President and told him to lead them to another party.

Surprisingly, Mr Balogun-Fulani and some members of his exco later said they were staying back in the APC after Mr Saraki had defected to the PDP.

The APC national leadership reacted by dissolving the state executive and replacing it with a caretaker committee.

Following their sack, Mr Balogun-Funlani approached the Ilorin Division of the High Court where his faction was pronounced the authentic APC in the state.

The APC national working committee challenged the ruling and secured a victory at the Court of Appeal. The appellate court ordered the recognition of Messrs Bolarinwa and Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq as the authentic chairman and governorship candidate of the APC in Kwara State.

That development led to the Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday.

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