Suspension: Oshiomhole yet to know fate as court postpones hearing of appeal
The fate of the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, is yet unknown as the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, Monday, suspended the hearing of the appeal he filed.
The appeal was challenging his suspension as the Chairman of the party by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
The appeal was earlier slated for hearing Monday morning by the Court of Appeal but when parties in the matter were seated in court, a three-member panel of justices of the court, headed by Justice Steven Adah, announced that a different panel shall be handling the appeal.
After taking two cases, the Justice Steven Adah-led panel announced that the panel to hear the Oshiomhole’s appeal will reconvene “when ready.”
Shortly after the justice’s information, an official of the court repeated the announcement that hearing in Oshiomhole’s appeal has been reserved to a date to be communicated to parties in the matter.
The former Edo State Governor, who hinged his appeal on four grounds, is seeking among others, the reversal of his suspension by a High court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In the appeal which has Mustapha Salihu, Anselm Ojezua, Sani Gomina, Oshawo Steve, Fani Wabulari and Princewill Ejogharado as respondents, Oshiomhole stated that the trial court erred in law to have arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it decided that his performance as APC national chairman would interfere with the party membership rights of the first to sixth respondents in the suit, at the interlocutory stage.
The Inspector-General of Police and Department of State Services (DSS) were also listed as the seventh and eighth respondents.
Oshiomhole argued that the judge erred in law and arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it placed him on suspension at an interlocutory stage of a suit instituted against him by some aggrieved members of the party.
He also argued that the high court further erred in law when it decided that he, in the performance of his duties as APC national chairman, would interfere in the court action filed against him by the aggrieved members.
He further argued that the issue of duties as APC national chairman is a matter which arose from substantive issues for determination and ought not to have been determined at the interlocutory stage of the main matter.
Justice Danlami Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, on March 4, 2020, granted an order of interim injunction stopping Oshiomhole from parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC.
Justice Senchi said political parties must be bound by their constitution and having been suspended by his ward, Comrade Oshiomhole is restrained from functioning as the National Chairman of the party pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The judge consequently fixed hearing of the matter for April 7 and 8.
Recall that the APC Chairman, Edo State Chapter, Anselm Ojezua, had in 2019, stated that the suspension of Comrade Oshiomhole is based on President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition that any member who is not relevant in his ward, local government area and state cannot hold office at the national level.
He noted that Edo APC had concluded that Oshiomhole lacked the capacity, temperament and moral authority to lead the APC as National Chairman.
Ojezua insisted that any action taken by Oshiomhole in the capacity of National Chairman, including documents signed and meetings presided over by him might be futile as his membership was already compromised.