A chieftain of the All progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adewale Hameed, on Wednesday urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to declare the purported tenure elongation of APC’s national officers as unconstitutional. Listed as the defendants are Mr John Odigie, National Chairman of APC, Mr Segun Oni, Deputy National Chairman (South ) and Senator Lawal Shaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North).
Others are Mr Ibrahim Gubi, National Secretary, Mr Pius Akinyelure, Vice-Chairman (South-west) as the fourth and fifth defendants. All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission were the sixth and seventh defendants in the matter. Newsmen report that at a joint meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja, the tenure of the officials was extended by one year with effect from June 30. Consequent upon that decision, the applicant had on March 9 filed an originating summons, seeking the determination of the court whether the extension of the NEC and NWC elected or appointed members was constitutional.
He wants the court to determine if the defendants had the constitutional right under Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 13 and 17 of the APC Constitution to extend the tenure of its NEC and NWC members. The applicant, through his counsel, Mr Babatunde Fashanu (SAN), had filed a motion ex-parte before the court, urging it to grant four orders pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
An order granting leave to the plaintiff to sue the first to fifth defendants on behalf of all officers of the NEC and the NWC of the APC.
An order granting leave to serve the first to fourth and the sixth defendants the originating summons by leaving it with the front desk officer of the sixth defendant.
An order of interim injunction restraining the first to sixth defendants from implementing the purported tenure elongation of the presently elected organs of the APC.
An order of interim injunction restraining the seventh defendant from recognizing the decision of the first to sixth defendants to extend its tenure beyond four years.
Attached to the motion is an affidavit sworn to by the applicant as a member of APC. He also attached as exhibits a copy of the applicant’s voter’s card and the APC Constitution. In her ruling, Justice Mojosola Olatoregun granted the first two prayers but requested the applicant to put the other defendants on notice for the last two orders. The court also asked the applicant to serve all the processes and hearing notices on the defendants. The case was adjourned until March 27 for hearing of the motion.