A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has restrained the All Progressives Congress (APC) from going ahead with its planned national convention pending the determination of a suit against the party in respect of the convention.
The plaintiff in the suit is Hon. Salisu Umoru while respondents are the All Progressives Congress, the Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
By the suit FCT/HC/CV/2958/2021 and motion number FCT/HC/M/9655/21, the plaintiff is praying the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defedants, allies, agents, representatives, associates or whoever is acting for them through or through them from organising, holding or conducting g National Convention of the All Progressives Congress in January and February or at any other date either before or after pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The claimant informed the court that the mere inauguration of sub-committees for the March 26, National Convention when the order of the court is in force is a demonstration of disdain for the rule of law in the country.
After listening to counsel in the matter, Justice Bello Kawu of the court granted the order and restrained the party from going ahead with the convention and also warned that the subject matter of the case is now subjudice and must not be tampered with.
Meanwhile, a contempt application has been filed before the court in respect of the the March 26 national convention of the party. Continuation of hearing of the substantive suit has been fixed for 30th March, 2022. No date has been fixed for the commencement of contempt proceedings against the APC.
The claimant also commended INEC for standing by the provisions of the law and the order of the court which is still in subsisting. It would be recalled that the electoral umpire, INEC, had last week written to the APC, insisting that the commission does not recognize Abu Bello’s leadership, and also informed the APC that it has not performed one of the requisite requirements for a valid NEC meeting or National Convention.
In the letter signed by Rose Onaran Anthony, Secretary to the Commission, the attention of the APC was drawn to section 82(1) of the electoral act which provides, “Every registered political party shall give the Commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of “merger” and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act”.
The implication of the above provision is that the APC will have to send a fresh letter of 21 Days notification to INEC the moment the Court Order is vacated in order to hold its national convention.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.