Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has refused to stop the Babatunde Balogun-led Executive Committee members of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from participating in the National Convention of the party, slated for this Saturday, in Abuja.
In declining the request contained in an ex-parte application, Justice Binta Nyako, said granting the application would breach the principle of fair hearing since only one person instituted the court action against hundreds of thousands others.
The defeated motion ex-parte was filed by an aggrieved contestant in the May 12, 2018 Lagos APC Congress, Bunmi Tayo Church.
Justice Nyako, whose ruling was read by her brother Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadiri, said that it would be unfair to stop the Balogun faction in view of the limited time to the convention slated for June 23, 2018 in Abuja.
She 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 when he told the court that he was prevented from participating at the state congress.
She added that it was 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, could not 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.
Meanwhile, 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, the court did not give a definite date for the hearing of the Originating Summons.