By Vivian Okejeme
Another All Progressives Congress (APC) court battle has commenced with a chieftain, Barrister Kalu Agu, challenging the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC) by the National Executive Council (NEC).
The NEC, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, had appointed ex-National Secretary and Yobe Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the Caretaker Chairman.
But Agu, a Youth Leader of the party in Abia State, insists that the council lacks the powers to sack the national leaders barely two years out of their constitutionally guaranteed four year term of office.
The plaintiff, in suit no FHC/ABJ/ CS/736/2020, is praying for an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, setting aside the dissolution of the NWC.
Agu is also praying the court for an order restraining the Buni-led committee from parading themselves as national officers of the APC.
Additionally, he is praying the court for an order restraining the committee from putting into effect the resolution of the APC NEC meeting passed on June 25, 2020.
Agu wants an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing, dealing with or relating with the caretaker committee in whatever guise to usurp the functions of the NWC.
The party member is equally seeking an order of mandatory injunction compelling INEC to continue to recognise the Oshiomhole led members of the NWC as the authentic national officers of the party.
The APC chieftain through his counsel, Ukpai Ukairo, is asking the court to strike down Article 17 of the APC constitution which provided for appointment of officers into the organs of the party for being inconsistent with section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and section 85 of the Electoral Act of 2010.
In a 44- paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, Agu claimed to be one of the foundation members of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) under which he ran for the House of Representatives in Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency of Abia State in 2011.
After the 2011 general elections, the CPC and others merged in 2013 to form the present APC.
Agu averred that he is an accredited APC member and that he was elected as the Abia State Youth Leader in April 2014 during the state’s congress held at Umuahia.
Insisting that the 1999 Constitution guaranteed four year tenure for party officials, Agu declared that in breach of the same constitution, the NEC meeting passed an illegal resolution dissolving the NWC and also setting up an illegal caretaker committee.
Agu is praying the court to declare the dissolution of the NWC as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and another declaration that the recognition accorded the caretaker committee is unconstitutional and illegal.
Respondents are the caretaker committee members.
They are Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sank Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Hon Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Professor Their Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.