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We’ll Abide By Court Order On Oshiomhole’s Suspension – APC

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared that it will obey the court order suspending its chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, from office.

Ruling on the suit instituted by APC member, Oluwale Afolabi, Justice Danlami Senchi, ordered Oshiomhole to step down from office pending the determination of the substantive suit seeking his perpetual removal as the APC chairman.

A few hours after the court order, the APC chairman approached the Appeal Court, Abuja Division, seeking for an order to set aside the ruling of the lower court.

In the appeal filed by his counsel, Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), Oshiomhole, presented four grounds for the nullification of the order.

He described the order sacking him as a miscarriage of justice, claiming that the trial court erred in law when it held that the plaintiff in the matter disclosed reasonable cause of action in coming to the conclusion.

Oshiomhole, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the order of the high court.

Also last night, the APC chairman told journalists that he had filed for stay of the execution of the court order.

His chief press secretary, Mr. Simon Egbebulem, said that the legal team of Oshiomhole was studying the matter, adding that his boss had filed for a stay of execution and also appealed the ruling.

Egbebulem said: “With these processes Oshiomhole remains the national chairman of the party.”

 

Bulama emerges party’s acting national secretary

There was, however, confusion when the APC acting national secretary, Chief Victor Giadom, who said that the party would obey the court order was immediately removed from office and replaced by Alhaji Waziri Bulama by the National Working Committee (NWC).

At the APC secretariat, Giadom said: “As a party we are aware of the court injunction. As a law-abiding party, we will respect all lawful court orders. Very soon the NWC will meet and you will hear further from the party. I am trying to say that the APC will respect all lawful court orders. We will soon do that.

“Like I said, there‘s a court injunction and it is binding on us as a party to respect the court injunction,” he stated.

Following Giadom’s immediate sack, the APC national vice-chairman (North East), Salihu Mustapha, accused Oshiomhole of breaching the court order, which removed him from office and barred him from the premises of the party’s national secretariat.

Mustapha emphasised that any decision taken at the behest of Oshiomhole is illegal because it violates the court ruling.

In a phone chat with journalists at the APC secretariat after the ruling, Mustapha said that Oshiomhole had defied the court’s order by directing the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, to announce Waziri Bulama as the party’s national secretary.

Issa-Onilu, who later issued a statement, said that the NWC had replaced Giadom as acting national secretary of the party with Bulama.

He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC has approved the nomination of Waziri Bulama as the party’s acting national secretary, Senator Abiola Ajimobi (deputy national chairman, South), and Mr. Paul Chukwuma (national auditor).

“The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s national secretariat,” Issa-Onilu said.

Before his removal, Giadom in his capacity as acting national secretary and highest ranking official had briefed journalists, saying that the party would abide by the judge’s order.

Justice Senchi suspended Oshiomhole after granting an interlocutory injunction in an application filed on January 16, 2020 by Afolabi.

Afolabi had based his application for the suspension of Oshiomhole on his removal last year by the party in his home state of Edo.

The other plaintiffs were Hon. Anselm Ojezua, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Mr Oshawo Steven, Mr Fani Wabulari and Princewill Ejogharado.

The other respondents alongside Oshiomhole included the APC, the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

On his part, Mustapha claimed that “immediately the court injunction was given, the national chairman has called the party’s national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu to issue a statement that Bulama is the National Secretary of the party.

“I believe you guys are aware of the meeting held about a month ago on that matter, which ended without a decision. Since then, there has not been a decision as to the replacement of the secretary,” he said.

He warned that Oshiomhole’s action will “create more chaos within the party. The public should know that any decision that Oshiomhole makes henceforth is an illegal decision and will not hold.

“We will keep our fingers crossed until the court decides. I am saying this so that there can be no two national secretaries and there can be no affirmation from a national chairman that has been suspended.”

 

Police take over party secretariat

As soon as the court verdict was pronounced, police officers and DSS personnel took over the APC secretariat to enforce law and order.

They came after the court order was served on the APC’s legal department.

LEADERSHIP noticed the presence of security details attached to Oshiomhole in his office.

The armed policemen came in nine trucks to the APC secretariat and started roaming around the compound. They asked the workers to go back to their offices.

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