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APC leadership crisis gets messier

Court revalidates Giadom as acting national chairman
NWC member dissociates self from court order

The leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) got messier yesterday as an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama granted an interim order permitting Victor Giadom who is the deputy national secretary of the party to assume the office of the acting National Chairman for two weeks.
The court also permitted Mustapha Saliu, who is the National Vice Chairman (North-East), to serve as acting National Secretary.
But Salihu, who is the purported applicant in the suit that gave rise to the interim order has disowned it, saying he never filed such a case and could not have been a party in the matter.
The decision of the court was premised on an ex-parte application marked FCT/HC /M/6447/2020 filed by Saliu through his counsel, Wole Afolabi.
The motion ex-parte was supported by an affidavit sworn by one Obinna Ugwu.
The plaintiff prayed the court to extend the life span of its earlier order made on March 16, 2020 as per a motion ex-parte with motion number FCT/HC/CV/6447/2020 praying this court for an interim order of the court allowing Chief Victor Giadom (present acting national secretary) to pilot the affairs of the APC as acting chairman and to preside at all meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC) pending the decision of the APC NEC fixed for March 17, 2020 or any other subsequent adjourned date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
“An interim order of the court restraining APC and its officers or anyone purporting to act an officer of the 4th defendant from preventing or in any way disturbing Chief Giadom from functioning as the acting for chairman unless otherwise decided by the NEC of the APC pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
Listed as respondents are Babatunde Ogala, Lanre Isa Onilu, Waziri Bulama and APC.
In a short ruling, the trial judge, Justice S. U. Bature held that: “Consequently and in line with rule number 5 of the COVID-19 practice directions of the FCT High Court 2020, the order of this court made on March 16, 2020 is hereby extended for a period of two weeks. Application is hereby granted as prayed.”
New Telegraph recalls that the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had on Tuesday affirmed the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party based on an earlier ruling of an Abuja High Court.
After the suspension, the party had asked a former governor of Oyo State and the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to assume the office of the acting national chairman.
According to the papers filed in court, Salihu had approached the court to revalidate the order obtained on March 16, 2020 when Oshiomhole was first removed as the National Chairman of the party.
However, a very furious Comrade Salihu has dissociated himself from the said interim order.
Salihu said he never filed the suit and was not a party to it.
In a telephone interview with journalists, Salihu said there was no way he would have been part of the so-called interim order when he was at a meeting of the party’s stakeholders from the North-East when the decision was reached to nominate and endorse Arc. Waziri Bulama as the acting national secretary of the party.
“My zone, the North-East has already nominated Arc. Waziri Bulama in the presence of the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, APC governors from the zone and other party stakeholders as the acting national secretary. I was at the meeting where this decision was reached. So why now would I go back to obtain a court order to act as national secretary?
“I was not part of such shenanigan. It is not in my character to play such dirty politics and I condemn in strong terms those behind the act. At a time like this when the party is going through trying times, it is such a time that all lovers of the party must pull together to keep the party running,” he said.
The position of the APC National Chairman became vacant on Tuesday following the decision of the Appeal Court upholding the suspension of the former National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
The FCT High Court had in March upheld the suspension of Oshiomhole by his ward, the local government and the state chapters of the party.
The party had witnessed as many as three persons laying claims to the vacant office in the last 48 hours.

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