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APC gets court’s nod to hold national convention, chieftains react

By Bridget Chiedu-Onochie (Abuja), Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)
19 March 2022   |   3:55 am
The All Progressives Congress (APC) can now hold its National Convention as planned, as a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Kubwa, yesterday...

Governor Mai Mala Buni

The All Progressives Congress (APC) can now hold its National Convention as planned, as a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Kubwa, yesterday, vacated the order of interim injunction barring it from holding the convention.

The interim order followed a suit by an aggrieved member of the party, Salisu Umoru, who had, among other things, prayed the court to direct the APC and its Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, to halt further action on the convention, pending the resolution of legal cases involving the party.

Umoru equally sought an order directing Buni to begin the reconciliation process to resolve all the disputes that emanated from the local council congresses conducted by the party.

The court had, on the strength of an application filed by plaintiff, granted an interim injunction restraining the APC from proceeding with the convention billed for March 26.

Dissatisfied with the order, APC approached the court with an application to set it aside. While granting APC’s application, yesterday, Justice Bello Kawu held that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to sustain the restraining order.

The court held that the order of injunction issued against the APC on November 18, 2021, has been overtaken by a recent judgment the Supreme Court delivered on a similar matter.

Kawu adjourned the plaintiff’s substantive suit till March 30 for hearing. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was also cited as a defendant in the matter.

Meanwhile, APC chieftain in Rivers State, Tonye Princewill, has described yesterday’s judgment as a necessary process for the continued evolution of an institutional vehicle like APC.

In a statement in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Princewill said, while others might have worries over the judgment, it does not flinch him.

He said: “Moreso when President Muhammadu Buhari spoke, he confirmed what I had long suspected after the series of interviews he gave the media. He wants to hand over to a President who loves Nigeria and is willing to work hard for it because he is looking ahead to his legacy. All that starts with the convention.”

Urging Nigerians to always listen, Princewill stated: “What we have seen with Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State is the tip of the iceberg, as a new strain of governance is coming.”

Also, the immediate past National Vice Chairman of APC (South East), Emma Enukwu, is optimistic that the party’s convention will strengthen it to win the 2023 general elections.

Enukwu stated this after obtaining the nomination form to vie for the Deputy National Chairmanship position of the party, adding that the APC’s future is bright.

The South East leadership of the party had recently zoned its national offices slots, with Enugu getting the Deputy National Chairmanship.