The All Progressives Congress (APC) is contesting a court order permitting its deputy national secretary, Victor Giadom, to act as the national chairman for another 14 days.
An FCT High Court on Thursday extended an order earlier permitting Mr Giadom to take over the role of National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose suspension was reaffirmed by an Appeal Court on Tuesday.
Hinging on a court order, Mr Giadom contested the party’s announcement of the former Oyo governor, Abiola Ajimobi, as the interim chairman, and declared himself the legitimate acting national chairman of the APC on Wednesday.
He immediately called for the Edo governorship primary screening to be redone, a process earlier conducted under Mr Oshiomhole which had disqualified the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, from gunning for a second term.
Mr Obaseki has been having a running political war with his predecessor, Mr Oshiomhole, and believes he was denied the party’s ticket because of this conflict.
He has since moved to the opposition party, the PDP.
Meanwhile, Mr Giadom’s declaration was later dismissed by 15 out of the 21 members of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC). They renounced the deputy national secretary as a ‘non-member’ of the body.
In another twist to the ongoing crisis in the party, on Thursday, an FCT High Court granted Mr Giadom a two-week extension of the court’s March 16 interim order.
Still no vacancy
In a statement issued Friday evening by the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the ruling party said there were existing orders from superior courts that neutralised the judgement Mr Giadom is hinging his claim on.
He said the order, which was granted on March 16, was to fill the vacant office of “the National Chairman ahead of a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which turned out to have been convened in contravention of the APC Constitution.”
He argued that, “the Federal High Court had on March 13, 2020, in the case of HON. TUNDE BALOGUN V ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/414/2020 affirmed the appointment of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi as Acting Deputy National Chairman (South) by the APC National Working Committee (NWC).”
Quoting a section of the judgement, Mr Lanre added that “there was an interim injunction restraining the defendant or anyone from refusing to recognise Mr Ajimobi alongside two others appointed to the vacant seats in March.”
“The court of appeal is of course a higher court in the hierarchy of courts and without prejudice to Sen. Ajimobi’s role as acting national chairman, by its decision and the operation of law, there was indeed no vacancy to fill necessitating the said order.
“It will interest the public to note that it is the same Exparte Order of March 16, 2020 granted in the face of the pending orders of both the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal that is being alleged by Victor Giadom to be extended by the FCT High Court,” he said.
“On the basis of the above analysis, we wish to restate that none of the defendants in the alleged suit where the said Exparte Order was obtained has been served with any process of court,” he explained. “This includes copies of the order itself as well as that alleged extension of same order yesterday, June 18, 2020 which has been circulating on social media. Perhaps, the orders are intended for use only on social media.”