Court fixes September 18 to rule on Ganduje’s removal as APC Chairman

By Matthew Denis

On Friday, The Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled September 18 to rule on a case challenging the legitimacy of Abdullahi Ganduje’s position as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The decision follows the final submission of arguments by all involved parties

Presiding over the case, Justice Inyang Ekwo set the judgment date after hearing the final briefs. The case, identified as FHC/ABJ/CS/599/2024, was filed by dissatisfied members of the APC under the North Central APC Forum. Led by Saleh Zazzaga, the plaintiffs are contesting Ganduje’s appointment as the party’s chairman.

The plaintiffs demand that the court prevent Ganduje from continuing to act as the APC chairman. They also seek an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disregard all actions taken by the APC under Ganduje’s leadership since his appointment on August 3, 2023. This includes party congresses, primaries, and nominations

The core of the plaintiffs’ argument is that Ganduje’s appointment violates the APC’s constitution. They assert that Ganduje, hailing from Kano State in the North West, should not have been appointed to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State in the North Central zone. They claim this breach goes against Article 31.5(1) f of the APC constitution, which stipulates the proper procedure for filling such vacancies.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that, according to the APC Constitution of 2013 (as amended), the party must follow specific procedures for replacing an officer. They contend that the NEC’s decision to appoint Ganduje was ultra vires, meaning beyond its legal power, as it did not follow the required democratic election process.

The plaintiffs seek several declarations from the court, including the assertion that only a democratically conducted election can legitimize Ganduje’s position as National Chairman. They emphasize that the party’s National Convention is the ultimate authority for electing or removing national officers.

During the proceedings, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Benjamin Davou, urged the court to grant all reliefs and remove Ganduje from office. Conversely, the defendants, represented by Abdul Adamu for Ganduje, Isiaka Dikko, SAN, for the APC, and Ahmed Mohammed for INEC, requested the court dismiss the case for lack of merit.

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