A Federal High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Liman, has transferred the case file of the suit seeking to nullify the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held on June 25, to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, FCT, Abuja.
A legal practitioner who claims to be a member of APC, Lateef Arigbaruwo, had dragged the party to the Federal High Court, Lagos, over the legality of the NEC meeting.
The suit marked, FHC/L/CS/789/2020, has Victor Giadom, APC National Caretaker Committee and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as co-defendants.
The plaintiff is asking the court to, among other things, nullify the decision taken at the meeting as well as set aside the party’s National Committee and all it decisions.
“A declaration that it is ultra vires Article 17 (iv) 25 (B) of the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress for the National Executive Committee to by any disguise appoint Mai Mala Buni (governor of Yobe State) Isiaka Oyetola (governor of Osun State), and Sani Bella (Governor of Niger State) as members of the National Caretaker Committee Members of the All Progressive Congress and therefore their appointment as members of the committee is illegal, null and void ab initio,” the suit read.
“A declaration that the second defendant, from June 21, had ceased to be a member of the party upon his suspension by the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress;
“Thus the National Executive Committee meeting called by the second defendant on June 24 was illegal and all decisions taken in the said National Executive Committee meeting held on June 25 is/was null and void ab initio, the convener not being a member of the party as at when he convened the meeting.”
The plaintiff also asked the court to restrain the caretaker committee members from parading themselves as such.
During the court hearing of an exparte motion filed by the plaintiff via Zoom on Tuesday, Justice Liman raised the issue of geographical jurisdiction of the suit. insisting that the matter should have been filed in Abuja where the respondents reside and not Lagos.
He subsequently ordered that the case file be transferred to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Arigbarigo was represented during the Zoom court session by his lawyer, Dimien Edonkumoh.
Recall that the NEC meeting followed the leadership tussle rocking the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at the time. At the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari recommended the dissolution of the NWC, a recommendation that was approved by NEC members. A caretaker committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, was subsequently set up. Party members were asked to withdraw all cases from the courts.