Court schedules date to rule on APC National Chairmanship seat

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, slated September 18 to deliver its judgement on a suit that is seeking to remove the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, from office.

The court, presided by Justice Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.

The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/599/2024, was brought before the court by aggrieved members of the party under the platform of North Central APC Forum.

The plaintiffs, led by one Saleh Zazzaga, are querying the propriety of Ganduje’s appointment as the Chairman of the APC.

They, among other things, want the court to restrain Ganduje from further parading himself as the chairman of the party.

More so, they prayed the court to issue an order, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), not to accord recognition to all actions taken by the APC, including congresses, primaries and nominations, since Ganduje became APC Chairman on August 3, 2023.

The plaintiffs told the court that Ganduje is occupying the office of the APC chairman illegally, not being from a state in the North Central geo-political zone.

They argued that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC acted in breach of the party’s constitution, when it appointed Ganduje, from Kano State in the North West geo- political zone, to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu who is from Nasarawa State in the North Central geo-political zone.

The plaintiffs argued that Ganduje’s appointment to replace Abdullahi was contrary to Article 31.5(1) f of the APC constitution and ultra vires the powers of the NEC of the party.

They added that by the true interpretation of Article 31.5(1) of the APC Constitution 2013 (as amended), the party was bound to comply with the procedure for the replacement of an officer in the event of a vacancy and ought to appoint a member from Nasarawa State in the North Central geo- political zone into the office of the chairman of the party.

They want the court to among other things, declare that by Article 20(1) of the APC constitution 2013, as amended, Ganduje, could not be appointed as the National Chairman of the party other than through a democratically conducted election and that his current occupation of the office is illegal.

Besides, the plaintiffs want a declaration that by the provisions of Article 13 of the APC constitution 2013 (as amended), the party’s National Convention is the final authority of the party which has the power to elect or remove national officers of the party including the national chairman of the party.

The plaintiffs also want a declaration that the party’s NEC lacked the power to appoint any person to the office of the Chairman.

At the resumed proceeding in the matter on Friday, while counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Benjamin Davou, urged the court to grant all the reliefs by removing Ganduje as the National Chairman of the APC, all the defendants, prayed the court to uphold their preliminary objections and dismiss the suit for want of merit.

Whereas Ganduje was represented by Mr. Abdul Adamu, the APC and INEC were represented by Isiaka Dikko, SAN, and Ahmed Mohammed, respectively.