Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal Court sitting in Abuja has fixed April 16, 2018 for definite hearing of a suit challenging the tenure elongation of the National Working Committee (NWC),of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by it National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun.
Some members of the party led by Ademorin Aliu Kioye, approached the court after the party extended the tenure of NWC by one year. At the last adjourned date, the plaintiffs secured an order ex- parte directing the defendants to show cause why the members of the National Executive Council of the APC should not be barred from parading themselves as national officials of the party.
The defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC), the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun and the National organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso. During the proceedings yesterday, plaintiffs’ counsel Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), told the court that all the defendants have been duly served with the court order of March 15, 2015 that set down the matter for hearing today.
Counsel to INEC , Idris Yakubu said that the commission had filed a preliminary objection to the suit this morning. But the counsel to All Progressives Congress , Joseph Daudu (SAN), said the party was served with the clear court order and it was clear that the court did not abridge the time within which the respondents were to file their processes.
He said the suit raised serious constitutional issues and it will be fair they file their processes as allowed by the rule because they are within time. “For the interest of fair hearing, we are still within time to file our processes.we have a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of this court”, he said.
Akin Olujimi (SAN) counsel to Chief Oyegun ,associated himself with the submissions of Daudu (SAN) and added that the order of the court said nothing on the abridgement of time. He argued that the processes filed was not ripe for hearing because they have 30 days to respond .Plaintiff also served us process yesterday.
After all the counsel had made their submissions, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba held that the court will follow a road map that would guarantee fair hearing of the matter expeditiously.
He ordered the parties to file all their processes before the adjourned date of April 16.
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