All Progressives Congress National Working Committee has named Sen. Abiola Ajimobi as its acting national chairman.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said in a statement last night that the decision was taken after receiving the news indicating the Appeal Court had upheld the suspension of the Party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by an FCT High Court pending the determination of the substantive suit.
According to Issa-Onilu, “Guided by advice from the party’s legal department in line with the provisions of Section 14.2. (iii) of the party’s constitution, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Sen. Abiola Ajimobi will serve as the party’s acting national chairman.
“According to Section 14.2. (iii),of the APC constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, North/South shall act as the national chairman in the absence of the national chairman from his zone.”
A three member panel of justices led by Justice Eunice Onyemenam, on Tuesday, held that Oshiomhole’s appeal challenging his suspension was unmeritorious.
An FCT High Court had on March 4 granted an application by five members of the APC in Edo State suspending Oshiomhole from office.
Oshiomhole, through his counsel, Damian Dodo, filed two appeals and a stay of execution of the judgement of the high court contending that the court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter.
He joined, as respondents, members of the party who filed the action at the high court: Comrade Mustapha Salihu, Anselm Ojezua, Sani Gomina, Hon. Fani Wabulari, Evangelist Princewill Ejogharado, the Inspector General of Police, and the State Security Service.
While arguing that the five individuals, who brought the action at the high court lacked the locus standi to file the action, he contended that he was not given the right to fair hearing since the issues decided in the suit number: FCT/HC/CV/837/2020 at interlocutory stage was those for the main hearing.
But in the judgement of the first appeal, Justice Onyemena dismissed Oshiomhole’s argument, stating that Salihu, Ojezua and Gomina, being key members of the party in Edo State, could file the action.
On the jurisdiction of the FCT High Court, Justice Onyemenam held that Order 4, Rule 4 of the FCT High court Civil Procedure Rules grants the court territorial jurisdiction where parties reside in the FCT, adding that while Oshiomhole resides in Abuja, the APC has its registered office in Abuja.
The judge said, “Having resolved the issues in favour of the respondents, I find no merit in the appeal. The same fails and is hereby dismissed.
“Accordingly, I affirm the decision of the trial court dismissing the appellant’s preliminary objection in suit No: FCT/HC/CV/837/2020 filed on 2and of March, 2020.”
Earlier, the judge dismissed Oshiomhole’s argument that the action by the five party officials was an abuse of court process, citing the withdrawal and ruling of the court striking out the earlier suit.
In the second appeal, which lead judgement was read by Justice Mohammed Lamido, the appellate court unanimously dismissed Oshiomhole’s submission that he was not granted right to fair hearing.