The Abuja High Court has restrained the pro-Oshiomhole faction of the National Working Committee of the ruling party, APC, from disrupting the controversially scheduled National Executive Committee (NEC).
The meeting slated for March 17, 2020, was summoned by the party’s assistant national secretary, Victor Gaidom, on Friday, to discuss the festering crisis in the party.
Mr Gaidom’s call for the meeting was strongly condemned by some members of the NWC who described the move of the former as ‘unconstitutional’ and outside his area of duties.
In a joint statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, national legal adviser, Babatunde Ogala, the controversially approved acting national secretary, Waziri Bulama, they downplayed Mr Gaidom’s call for a NEC meeting and advised party members to ignore him.
“The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-third of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less that fourteen (14) days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned,” the trio had said.
In his subsequent reactions, Mr Gaidom insisted that he is next in line in terms of party hierarchy in the absence of Mr Oshiomhole and with the party not having a substantive national secretary. The former national secretary is now the governor of Yobe State.
Mr Oshiomhole was suspended last week Wednesday by the same court following the suit filed by some members of the party challenging his right to the seat despite his ‘suspension’ by his ward in Edo State last November.
The judgement was controversially countered by a Federal High Court in Kano the following day, although Mr Oshiomhole has appealed the Abuja court’s ruling.
On Wednesday, Justice Samira Bature of the Abuja High Court, in her verdict on an application filed by the North-East zonal vice-chairman of the APC, Mustapha Salihu, ordered that Mr Issa-Onilu, Mr Ogala, Mr Bulama or any member of the party should not disrupt the controversially slated meeting.
“AN ORDER OF THIS HONOURABLE COURT restraining the l, 2 and 3 Defendants either by themselves, their agents or privies or any member of the 4 Defendant from interfering with disturbing or taking any steps or actions howsoever described towards disrupting the meeting of the National Executive Committee convened by the 4 Defendant’s National Working Committee members scheduled for 17h March, 2020 or any subsequent date pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed,” the judge stated in the interim order on Wednesday.
It also ordered the party’s NWC to give effect to the resolution made at “the National Executive Committee meeting of the 4th Defendant scheduled for 17h March, 2020 or any subsequent date pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice already filed.”
The case has been adjourned to March 20 for hearing.