Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, dismissed two suits challenging moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking the extension of the tenure of its National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, and other officials of the party at the national, state, local government and ward levels.
Delivering judgments in two separate suits on the matter, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba held that the action had become ‘hypothetical, academic and spent’ since the party has reversed its decision to extend the officials’ tenures.
He said he has taken judicial notice that the APC has commenced the conduct of its congresses to elect officials at the ward and local government levels.
In addition, Justice Dimgba said he also aware that the party had slated its national convention for May 19.
While holding that the court does not give judgment “for fancy” but only “addresses live issues,” Justice Dimgba however said had the tenure elongation scaled through, it would have been a violation of both the Nigerian and APC’s constitutions.
The party’s National Executive Council had, at its meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 27, 2018, extended the four-year tenure of the party officials due to expire on June 30, 2018, by one year.
A member of the APC in Imo State, Mr. Okere Uzochukwu, filed the first suit on March 2, 2018 and marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/219/2018 to challenge the move.
The second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/237/2018, was filed on March 8, 2018 by four APC members aspiring to run for leadership positions of the party, to challenge the extension of the tenures of the incumbent holders of the executive offices of the party.
President Buhari had, at a later meeting of the NEC, advised against the tenure extension because of possible dire legal consequences it could hold for the party.