A Federal Capital Territory high court has dismissed a suit filed by Raymond Dokpesi seeking to remove the national leaders of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA.
Mr. Dokpesi, the founder of African Independent Television, AIT, had on August 17 approached the court with claims that he founded the party and appointed its national chairman, Shitu Mohammed, and secretary, Emeka Okengwu.
He asked the court to affirm him as the chairman of APDA’s Board of Trustees and to sack the Shitu-led National Working Committee and National Executive Committee of the party.
He equally prayed for all the property and correspondences of the party to be submitted to him.
Delivering his judgement on Thursday, the presiding judge, Yusuf Halilu, said the defendants were elected in January with a resolution submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He noted that the commission has recognised the officers and made several correspondences with the chairman, Mr. Shitu.
The judge further noted that INEC had equally cautioned Mr. Dokpesi in a letter addressed to him that the party cannot have a Board of Trustees until after five years, as stipulated by APDA’s constitution.
Based on the above facts submitted by the defendants, the court said Messrs. Shitu and Okengwu remain the National Chairman and Secretary and the authentic and recognised leaders of APDA.
He added that apart from Mr. Dokpesi’s action lacking integrity, he has no locus standi to approach the court in the first instance, because the party never had a Board of Trustees.
He described the purported letter claimed by Mr. Dokpesi to have issued to appoint Mr. Shitu as an afterthought, adding that it lacks credibility.
Reacting to the judgement, Mr. Shitu described it as a landmark that will strengthen the party and allow it focus on providing a viable opposition and an alternative that Nigerians are yearning for.
“This a confirmation of what APDA stands for; that we are a party of integrity that cannot be hijacked by Godfathers,” Mr. Shitu said.
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