Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday refused to hear a suit filed by a Youth Leader, Kalu Kalu challenging the sack of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during vacation.
Delivering ruling in the matter, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that contrary to the argument of the plaintiff, the matter was not a preelection matter and to that effect, was not time-bound.
“This matter is not a pre-election matter according to Section 285 (14) of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended), it is not time bound.
Therefore, it does not qualify as a vacation matter which the court should waste its time on,” the judge said. Justice Taiwo added that the plaintiff had failed to show the court how he would be denied fair hearing if the matter was not taken during the court’s vacation.
According to the judge, this application is refused and same dismissed. He, however, said that since the substantive matter had yet to be heard, the court would bear the cost.
Earlier, counsel to the second and third defendants, M.I. Balogun and Peace Nwosu had asked for a cost of N50,000 each.
The substantive matter was adjourned until Oct. 19 for hearing. In the substantive matter, Kalu, a Youth Leader of the APC in Abia is challenging the powers of the National Executive Council (NEC) to sack the Oshiomhole-led NWC barely two years out of their constitutionally guaranteed four -year tenure.
The plaintiff asked for an order of court setting aside the dissolution of the NWC by APC’s NEC meeting held at the Presidential Villa in June.
He is also praying the court for an order restraining the National Caretaker Committee members led by Gov. Mai-Mala Buni from parading themselves as national officers of the APC.
He also wants the court to restrain them from usurping the functions of the party’s NWC. Respondents in the case are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Gov. Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Gov. Sank Bello, Mr James Lalu and Sen. Abubakar Yusuf. Others are Mr Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Prof. T Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Sen. Akpan Udoedehe.
Meanwhile, the APC had told the court that the Oshiomhole -led NWC was sacked to pave way for an end to the internal leadership crises.
The APC also told the court that immediately the caretaker/ extraordinary convention planning committee was put in place after the NWC’s dissolution, the crises stopped.
Meanwhile, immediate-past Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers, Mr Felix Obuah, has pleaded with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo to forgive and rescind plans to expel Mr Adams Oshiomhole from the party.
Obuah made the plea in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Jerry Needam, on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
He said the call became necessary as the clamour for his expulsion gathers support.
“As true and evident as it has shown that the APC lost the Edo governorship election, largely because of Oshiomhole’s intransigence and arrogance, expelling him at this material time could only translate to political suicide for the already beleaguered Edo-born politician.
“As an elder statesman and core politician, I can discern the degree of regret and remorse that goes on in Oshiomhole’s mind and he should, therefore, be forgiven,’’ Obuah said.
The former PDP boss also said that as a state PDP stalwart and elder statesman who understood the intricacies of party politics, losing the national chairmanship of the APC in a manner he did, and also losing the arguable position of ‘father of Edo politics’, is more than enough punishment for Oshiomhole.
“I’m indeed sorry for the Edo APC supporters on the account that the state had suffered in the hands of Oshiomhole both as Edo state governor and as the national chairman of the party.
“Nonetheless, I beseech you to forgive him but if contrary to my plea, you are still bent on discarding him, I think the PDP will definitely not accept him into our more responsible and united party,” Obuah said.