Appeal Court restores Oshiomhole as APC national chairman

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THE Court of Appeal in Abuja has stayed the execution of the March 4, orders of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, suspending Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Party, APC.

In a ruling on Monday, a three-man panel of the court, led by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaha was unanimous in granting the reliefs contained in an ex-parte motion argued by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead lawyer to Oshiomhole and the APC.

The court also restrained the respondents to the appeal marked CA/A/188/2020 and their agents from taking any further steps to give effect to the orders contained in the March 4, interlocutory ruling by Justice Danladi Senchi of the High Court of the FCT in Jabi, pending the determination of a motion on notice filed by Oshiomhole and the APC.

The respondents are APC’s Mustapha Saliu, national vice chairman (Northeast), Anselm Ojezua,  Edo State APC chairman, Sani Gomna, Oshawo Stephen,  Fani Wabulari,  Princewill Ejogharado, the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service.

Olanipekun had, while arguing the ex-parte application, noted that time was of the essence and that the urgent intervention of the court was necessary to prevent an irreparable damage. He added that since the March 4, ruling,  “there has been a state of confusion in the party (APC). There is move to hold a National Executive Council meeting without the appellant. If the NEC is allowed to hold without the appellant, there will be no return to the status quo ante bellum.

“There cannot be two pilots in an aircraft at the same time,” he said and argued that the court was at liberty to take judicial notice of happenings around it.

Olanipekun told the court that his clients filed two appeals against the two rulings delivered on March 4,  by Justice Senchi. He said his clients have compiled records in relation to both appeals, marked: CA/A/187/2020 and CA/A/188/2020, along with a motion on notice each for order of stay of execution.

He added that his clients also filed a motion ex-parte in respect of the appeal marked: CA/A/188/2020, and have served all the respondents accordingly, but without the ex-part motion. He proceeded to motion the motion ex-parte which the court granted in a brief ruling.

Justice Yahaya, who read the lead ruling, said: “We have considered the application and have looked closely at the affidavit in support and the exhibits. We are of the view that an emergency picture has been painted  so that an intervention by this court at this time, and in this process, is warranted.

“There is the information that a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the second applicant (APC) is to be held tomorrow. And, following the ruling of the FHC High Court under consideration, the 1st applicant (Oshiomhole) will not be able to attend.

“If this happens, then there is no assurance that any status quo ante bellum would be maintained. The status quo can only be maintained in this circumstances if there is a stay of the execution of the ruling of the FCT High Court.

“In this vein therefore, we find merit in the application. We hereby order a stay of execution of the ruling of the FHC High Court in suit No: FCT/FC/CV/17/2020 delivered on the 4(h of March 2020 pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“As a corollary, we also hereby, give an order of injunction, restraining the respondents themselves, their agents, privies and officers, jointly and severally from proceeding to take any other steps to give effect to the said ruling, pending the determination of the motion on notice. Since the appellants have transmitted records and have filed a brief, they have demonstrated interest in prosecuting the appeal. The appeal is given accelerated hearing”

“Having said all these, we implore political parties to try to resolve their differences amicably without the necessity of involving the court at all times,” Justice Yahaya said.

The court, had earlier in the day, postponed ruling on Oshiomhole’s case, saying it would communicate to him when it will give ruling.

Realnews reports that the court last week sent notices of hearing to parties in the appeal. However, when they got to court today, March 16, the three judges led by Stephen Adah, who sat to hear other cases, promised that another panel will be reconstituted to hear Oshiomole’s appeal.

Oshiomhole, who is to meet with his lawyers on what to do, told newsmen that he will wait for the court’s ruling on the case which is an appeal against the earlier judgement of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory restraining him from parading himself as the national chairman of the APC.

– Mar. 16, 2020 @ 20:09 GMT |

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