Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker- and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from holding the party’s national convention in February.

The members are Suleiman Usman (an APC registered member in Nyanya ward, Federal Capital Territory -FCT), Muhammed Shehu (Banga ward, Kaura Namoda Local Government Area, Zamfara) and Audu Emmanuel (Furfuri ward, Bungudu LGA, Zamfara State.

In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/3/2022, filed by their lawyer, Olusola Ojo, they argued that the APC would be violating its constitution if allowed to proceed to hold its national convention in February.

They contended that having not conducted congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT, the APC could not legitimately hold a national convention.

Defendants in the suit are the APC, the Chairman of the CECPC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The plaintiffs stated, in a supporting affidavit, that the APC held its state congresses on October 16, 2021 in 34 states, with the exclusion of Anambra and Zamfara states.

“After the state congresses of the first defendant (APC) held on 16th October, 2021, several aggrieved members of the first defendant and aspirants that participated in the congresses filed actions in various courts, challenging the conduct of the congresses on grounds of irregularities and non compliance with the first defendant’s constitution and the electoral law.

“Without concluding the state congresses of the first defendant in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, and resolving all the court actions pending against the outcome of the state congresses, the first and second and defendants moved on to schedule the national convention of the first defendant for February 2022 in flagrant disregard to the pending court actions.

“By the provisions of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress and the Alectoral Act, states’ executive members of the first defendant are the ones to participate in the national convention of the first defendant for the purpose of electing national executive members for the first defendant.

“All members of the first defendant in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory reserve the rights under the law to participate in the national convention of the first defendant through the state executive members of the first defendant as delegates.

“The states where no state congresses have been held and no state executive members have been elected for the first defendant cannot participate in the scheduled national convention of the first defendant scheduled for February, 2022 to elect national executive official of the first defendant.

“If the first and second defendants go ahead to conduct the national convention of the first defendant slated for February, 2022 without first concluding the state congresses in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, a large number of members will be disenfranchised and denied the right to participate in the national convention of the first defendant and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be breached.”

They want the court to among others, declare that having regard to sections 40 and 224 of the Constitution, and Article 20 of the APC constitution, the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) cannot validly organise and conduct a national convention of the party pursuant to section 85(3) of the. Electoral Act, without first conducting state congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT.

The plaintiffs also want the court to issue an order restraining the first and second defendants (APC and the CECPC) from organising and conducting the national convention of the first defendant unless state congresses of the first defendant are first concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

They are equally praying the court to direct the APC and the CECPC to first conduct state congresses of the in Anambra state and Zamfara states before the party’s national convention could be scheduled and conducted.

The plaintiffs want the court to restrain INEC from giving approval/effect to any action of the first and second defendants to organise and conduct national convention of the APC unless state congresses of the party are first conducted/concluded in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The suit filed on January 4 is yet to be assigned for hearing. (The Nation)

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