Breaking: Aggrieved APC members ask court to stop convention

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Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker- and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from holding the party’s national convention in February.

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The members are Suleiman Usman (an APC registered member in Nyanya ward, Federal Capital Territory -FCT), Muhammed Shehu (Banga ward, Kaura Namoda Local Government Area, Zamfara) and Audu Emmanuel (Furfuri ward, Bungudu LGA, Zamfara State.

They argued in a lawsuit filed by their lawyer, Olusola Ojo, that allowing the APC to hold its national convention in February would be a violation of the party’s constitution.

They argued that the APC could not hold a national convention because it had not held congresses in all 36 states and the FCT.

The APC, the Chairman of the CECPC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission are named as defendants in the lawsuit (INEC).

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In a supporting affidavit, the plaintiffs stated that the APC held state congresses in 34 states on October 16, 2021, with the exception of Anambra and Zamfara.

“After the state congresses of the first defendant (APC) held on 16th October, 2021, several aggrieved members of the first defendant and aspirants that participated in the congresses filed actions in various courts, challenging the conduct of the congresses on grounds of irregularities and non compliance with the first defendant’s constitution and the electoral law.

“Without concluding the state congresses of the first defendant in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, and resolving all the court actions pending against the outcome of the state congresses, the first and second and defendants moved on to schedule the national convention of the first defendant for February 2022 in flagrant disregard to the pending court actions.

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“State executive members of the first defendant are the ones to participate in the national convention of the first defendant for the purpose of electing national executive members for the first defendant, pursuant to the provisions of the All Progressives Congress constitution and the Alectoral Act.”

“Under the law, all members of the first defendant in all 36 states of the union and the Federal Capital Territory reserve the right to attend the first defendant’s national convention as delegates through the state executive members of the first defendant.”

“States where no state congresses have been held and no state executive members have been elected for the first defendant are ineligible to attend the first defendant’s scheduled national convention in February 2022 to elect national executive officials.”

“If the first and second defendants go ahead to conduct the national convention of the first defendant slated for February, 2022 without first concluding the state congresses in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, a large number of members will be disenfranchised and denied the right to participate in the national convention of the first defendant and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be breached.”

They want the court to among others, declare that having regard to sections 40 and 224 of the Constitution, and Article 20 of the APC constitution, the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) cannot validly organise and conduct a national convention of the party pursuant to section 85(3) of the. Electoral Act, without first conducting state congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT.

The plaintiffs also want the court to issue an order restraining the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) from organising and conducting the national convention of the first defendant unless state congresses of the first defendant are first concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

They are also pleading with the court to order the APC and the CECPC to hold state congresses in Anambra and Zamfara states before the party’s national convention can be scheduled and held.

The plaintiffs want the court to stop INEC from approving or giving effect to any action taken by the first and second defendants to organize and conduct the APC’s national convention until state congresses in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory have been held and concluded.

The lawsuit, which was filed on January 4, has yet to be assigned a hearing date.

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