Nigeria: Court Rejects Suits Seeking to Sack Buni-Led APC Caretaker Committee

23 June 2021

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out two suits challenging the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also seeking to void the setting up of the National Caretaker Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai-Mala Buni.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in two rulings delivered yesterday held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to institute their cases against the party.

The first suit was filed by a former South-South National Vice Chairman of the party, Mr. Hilliard Eta in the name of APC, while the second suit was instituted by a former APC Youth Leader in Abia state, Kalu Kalu Agu.

Plaintiffs in both suits, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/736/2020 and FHC/ABJ/CS/1589/2021 had sought an order to determine the legality or otherwise of the June 17, 2020 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which dissolved the NWC and appointed a National Caretaker Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Buni.

They had prayed the court to reverse the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led NWC and declare the Buni-led NWC unlawful.

Upholding the separate preliminary objections filed by the defendants, the court held that the plaintiffs did not show or prove how the dissolution of the NWC on June 17, 2020 by 16 out of 20 members of APC NEC infringed on their civil rights and obligation more than any other member of the party.

"There must be a nexus between a plaintiff and the cause of action," the judge said, and noted that the first plaintiff did not fit properly into who a plaintiff should be, while the second plaintiff, Eta "referred to himself as a regular member of the party."

The judge observed that, for the APC to be a plaintiff in the suit, there must be the existence of a faction, noting that there was nowhere the second plaintiff claimed to belong to a faction of the party, in the affidavit he deposed to.

"I am of the well-considered view that issues raised by the plaintiffs are not justiceable. They are issues of internal affairs of a political party.

"It is sheer waste of time and there is no reason to consider the substantive matter," the judge said, and proceeded to strike out both cases.

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