Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The planned national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is now a subject of litigation before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which has been asked to stop the National Caretaker Committee members of the party led by Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni from going ahead with the convention. The Governor Buni led caretaker committee of the party has scheduled December for national convention to elect new executives. But in a suit, the plaintiff, Ntufam Hilliad Etagboeta, is among other reliefs, seeking the nullification of the caretaker committee. In the suit filed through his counsel, Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, he raised some questions for determination.
Defendants in the suit are Governor Buni, Sen. John Akpan Udoedehe, the National Secretary, Isiaka Oyetola, Sani Bello, Stella Oketete and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In the originating summons, Governor Buni, Akpan Udoedehe, Oyetola, Bello and Oketete are the 1st to 5th defendants while INEC is the 6th defendant.
The plaintiff prayed the court to determine the following questions:
•Whether having regard to Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 17 (iv) of the Constitution of All Progressives Congress (APC) it is an illegality and a void act for a person to hold an executive office in the Government simultaneously with an office in any organ of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at any level, in whatever capacity.
•Whether having regard to Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Articles 20()a), 170) and (iv) of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), only persons who are not disqualified from holding office by virtue of the Constitution may run the affairs of the Party including the holding of a National Conventions and Congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC).