The presiding Judge of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria Justice Mohammed Liman today restrained the ruling party All Progressive Congress Party (APC) from holding the scheduled meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) scheduled for tomorrow March 17, 2020.
The order of the court was sequel to a Motion on Notice filed and argued before the court by Dr. Ehiogie West -Idahosa on behalf of ten chairmen of States chapters of the party namely Hon Ali Bukar Dolari, Alhaji Shittu Shittu, Joan Amos, John Ochalla, Gboyega Famodun, Hon. Bashiru Bolarinwa, Professor John Erue, Akin Oke, Hon Initially T. Okopito, Ayo Afolabi, Nabena Yekini, and Secretary southwest zone Hon Babatunde Balogun and the deputy national publicity secretary of the party Hon Ibrahim Tukur Elusuidi.
The defendants to the suit are APC, INEC and Inspector General of Police.
In an affidavit sworn to by Hon. Babatunde Balogun who is chairman Lagos state chapter of the party and a member of the national executive committee averred that all the plaintiffs are members of the national executive committee of the party. He further averred that on the 6th of March, 2020 he read notice of meeting issued by one Victor Giadom purporting to convey an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party.
He stated further that he read on social media and online publications that the National Working Committee did not authorize the defendants to convey a meeting of the NEC.
Immediately, he consulted the other plaintiffs and they decided to approach the court, that unless the defendants who are APC, INEC and IGP are restrained, they will give effect to the resolution and decisions made at the meeting unilaterally conveyed by the said Mr Victor Giadom who purport to be the acting national secretary of the party has no power whatsoever under the constitution of APC to unilaterally summon an emergency meeting of the NEC at a time the minimum of seven days notice to those are entitled to attend the meeting.
That it is important for the court to issue an order to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit.
At the moment access to the secretariat of the party is restricted for the purpose of the bailiff serving court process on them.
Consequently, the publication of the process and order of the court will be adequate notice to the defendants.
In his ruling, the presiding judge Justice Mohammed Liman ordered all the parties to maintain status-quo while citing the case of Ojukwu Versus Lagos State government which states that while a case is before the court none of the parties should do anything to overreach the court.
He also ordered that the order of the court should be advertised in two national dailies which will serve as notice to the defendants.
He adjourned the case to 25th March 2020 for the hearing of the substantive suit.