The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Jabi, on Wednesday, ordered a temporary suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The court, in a ruling by Justice Danlami Senchi, directed that Oshiomhole should remain out of office pending the determination of a substantive suit that was brought against him by some aggrieved members of the party. The order followed an application of interlocutory injunction that six plaintiffs, led by one Mustapha Salihu, filed through their lawyer, Mr. Oluwole Afolabi. They had among other things, prayed the court to oust Oshiomhole from office, alleging that he was previously suspended as a member of the party from his Etsako ward 10, in Edo State.
Whereas Oshiomhole was cited as the 1st Respondent in the matter, the APC was sued as the 2nd Respondent. In the application dated January 16, the plaintiffs, told the court that Oshiomhole failed to challenge his suspension in his primary Ward in Edo state. They argued that since his suspension remained extant, his rights as a member of the party is currently abated, insisting that he could therefore not continue to head the APC as its Chairman. The plaintiffs, through their lawyer, also contended that it would be legally wrong for Oshiomhole to continue to enjoy benefits from the APC in view of his suspension as a member of the party.
Meanwhile, in his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Senchi, held that the 2nd Respondent (APC), wrongfully retained Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party in view of the affidavit evidence before the court. Consequently, he ordered that Oshiomhole should stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC.
Besides, Justice Senchi directed the party to stop acknowledging Oshiomhole as the Chairman of the APC, saying he should be granted access to the party’s Secretariat. Justice Senchi stressed that political parties must be bound by their constitution. He held that since Oshiomhole had been evidently suspended in his Ward and the suspension not challenged, he had no business any longer parading himself as National Chairman of the party.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole had through his lawyer, Mr. Damian Dodo, SAN, challenged the competence of the suit which he said constituted an abuse of the court process. Aside from querying the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, Oshiomhole maintained that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to seek such reliefs against him. The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit till April 7.