Court quashes suit against Buni-led APC panel
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has struck out a suit challenging the competence of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Delivering judgment in the suit no: FHC/ABJ/857/2021, Justice Pheobe Ayua struck out the name of the APC National Chairman, the National Working Committee (NWC) and CECPC National Secretary sued as second, third and fourth defendants, respectively, for being non-juristic persons.
A Delta State High Court had, on October 15, 2021, struck out an action filed by Elvis Ayomanor and others, challenging the APC Ward, local council and state congresses.
The trial judge, Godwin Briki-Okolosi, had also, on December 22, 2021, struck out suit no: A/139/ 2021, between Chukwusa Edafe Matthew and 14 others Vs. APC and others, to set aside the APC ward, local council and state congresses in Delta.
The court held that the action was non-justiciable and incurably incompetent, noting that the substratum of the matter bordered on the internal affairs of the ruling APC.
The latest Federal High Court ruling has, therefore, put to rest issues surrounding the legality of the Buni-led CECPC.
It corroborates a Supreme Court judgment, which held that “the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party is empowered to create, elect and appoint committees (including the instant CECPC) or any other committee it may deem necessary to act in any capacity.”
APC has been enmeshed in crisis, with leaders divided into power blocs, as the struggle for the control of the party structure hots up, ahead of the 2023 elections.
However, Commissioner for Information and Communications in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, has dismissed the notion of a crisis in the party.
The APC told newsmen on Friday that what was happening in the party should be expected.
His words: “The party is not in any form of crisis. What we have is an attrition of interests, which is normal in a ruling party that, many believe, will continue to lead Nigeria beyond 2023.
“The Buni leadership of the party has done very well in stabilising the party and attracting political heavyweights into the party. PDP is saying there is a problem in APC, and their governors, senators and other heavyweights are dumping their party for the ruling APC. Who is in crisis here?
“Crisis-ridden parties are not naturally attractive, so Nigerians know which party is struggling and lamenting. If they think Nigerians have forgotten how they destroyed this country, they will know better in 2023,” he stated.