Friday, May 7, 2021

Lagos APC crisis: Court okays Tinubu-backed faction to participate in convention


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday refused to stop the Babatunde Balogun-led executive committee (Exco) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from participating in the national convention of the party, slated for this Saturday in Abuja.
Justice Binta Nyako, who declined to stop the Balogun group said that the principle of fair hearing will be breached since only one person instituted the court action against hundreds of thousands others.
Delivering ruling in an ex-parte motion filed by an aggrieved contestant in the May 12, 2018 Lagos APC Congress, Bunmi Tayo Church, Justice Nyako said that it will be unfair to stop the Balogun faction in view of the limited time to the convention slated for June 23, 2018 in Abuja.
In declining to grant the ex-parte motion, the Judge held that the plaintiff was just one out of 1, 885 aspirants who vied for positions during the congress.
Justice Nyako said that the plaintiff did not help himself in his claim that he was prevented from participating at the state congress, adding that it is a law that anyone who did not participate in an election cannot challenge the outcome of that election.
The court held that, Church, having not participated in the May 12 Lagos State APC congresses, cannot use the ex-parte application to challenge the outcome of the congress.
Besides, Justice Nyako said that several hundred others who participated in the congress will be denied fair hearing if the application is granted because they were not brought before the court to defend themselves by the applicant (Church), who instituted the court action in his personal capacity.
As a way out, Justice Nyako ordered that the Originating Summons filed by the plaintiff/applicant, through his counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) will be given accelerated hearing.
However, Justice Babatunde Quadri, who read the ruling on behalf of Justice Nyako, who was said to have been bereaved however did not give a definite date for the hearing of the Originating Summons but said that Justice Nyako will fix a convenient date for her to hear the matter.
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