Political analysts are beginning to express optimism that the current discordant tunes within the ranks of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may ultimately lead to a landslide victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections.
However, they are also worried that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and, in particular, the president might lose the victory earned at the polls at the election tribunals if the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, does not tone down his perceived intransigent disposition towards subsisting Court Orders.
LEADERSHIP investigations revealed that at the last Caucus meeting of the APC, one of Oshiomhole’s main supporters and chairman of Progressive Governors Forum and Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, warned of the danger of ignoring court orders. The national chairman was reported to have brushed him aside with the excuse that he would not obey what he termed, ‘‘unreasonable court orders’’.
Our correspondent also reports that during investigations, many party members who are also lawyers expressed their worry regarding the danger this attitude on the part of the party chairman poses to both the party and the president.
According to them, Oshiomhole is neither an appellate court nor does he have the authority to determine which orders of the court are reasonable or not.
One of the legal experts, Barrister Aminu Abubakar said, “Any action taken against a subsisting Court Order will amount to a nullity as it will be easily quashed through any judicial challenge’’.
He warned that any action taken by APC against a subsisting Court Order is a huge risk, which the party can do without.
Using the crisis in the Abia State chapter of the party as an example, Barr Abubakar particularly pointed out that if the APC persists in working with the executive committee sacked by the court, ‘‘and allows them to participate in the coming presidential primaries, the outcome of that primary and the fate of the president, if he wins the general election, can be successfully challenged in court even by the PDP’’.
A court unambiguously ruled that the Donatus Nwankpa’s led-Exco should cease to lead the party in Abia State and the Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe led-Exco should hold sway until the determination of the matter. The matter has neither been determined nor has the order been vacated.
Another lawyer, Barr Victor Iheanyi, pointed out that parties cannot treat such matters as their internal affairs anymore.
Giving example of the Supreme Court case between Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and an already elected Senator Uche Ekwunife of PDP, Iheanyi warned that any Nigerian or even an opposition party such as the PDP can now successfully challenge the election of all the APC candidates in Abia or even President Muhammadu Buhari himself if Oshiomhole continues his disobedience of subsisting Court Orders in Abia and other States.
On the basis of this, party faithful are appealing to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to prevail on Oshiomhole to be more amenable to court processes and decisions in the overall interest of the party and its candidates.