The National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), North East, Salihu Mustapha, has accused the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of trying to announce a new National Secretary for the party after his suspension on Wednesday by a Federal High Court.
Mr Mustapha said by virtue of the court’s order, any decision taken by Mr Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the ruling party is illegal.
The court in Abuja suspended Mr Oshiomhole after granting an interlocutory injunction in an application filed on January 16 by a member of the APC, Oluwale Afolabi.
Mr Afolabi based his application for the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole on the suspension of the national chairman last year by a faction of the party in his home Edo State.
Ruling on the application, Justice Danlami Senchi ordered the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The court also ordered that the embattled national chairman should not be allowed into the party’s national secretariat.
But in a phone interview with journalists at the party secretariat immediately after the court verdict, Mr Mustapha said Mr Oshiomhole has defied the court’s order by directing the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, to announce Waziri Bulama as the party’s National Secretary.
Mr Mustapha is one of the members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) opposed to Mr Oshiomhole’s leadership of the APC. This reporter once at the party’s secretariat last month witnessed the duo in a shouting match during an NWC meeting, which led to Mr Mustapha storming out of the meeting.
“Immediately the court injunction was given, the national chairman has called the party’s National Publicity Secretary (Lanre Issa-Onilu) to issue a statement that Bulama is the National Secretary of the party.
“I believe you guys are aware of the meeting held about a month ago on that matter, which ended without a decision. Since then there has not been a decision as to the replacement of the secretary,” he said.
He said if such an order by the suspended chairman (Mr Oshiomhole) will “create more chaos within the party” if carried out.
“The public should know that any decision that Oshiomhole makes henceforth is an illegal decision and will not hold.
“We will keep our fingers crossed until the court decides. I am saying this so that there can be no two national secretaries and there can be no affirmation from a national chairman that has been suspended,” Mr Mustapha further said.
The vacant position in question was formerly occupied by the now Yobe Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
Meanwhile, some workers at the party’s national secretariat expressed delight at the court decision. One of the staff described Mr Oshiomhole’s leadership style as “rigid and authoritative.”
The party spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, did not pick his calls or respond to this reporter’s message on Mr Mustapha’s allegation.