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Victor Gaidom announces self as APC national chairman

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Victor Gaidom has announced himself as the acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

Before announcing himself as the acting chairman, Gaidam was the acting national secretary of the APC.

Gaidom announcement is coming a few hours after the APC announced Abiola Ajimobi as the acting National Chairman following the decision of the Appeal Court to uphold the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of APC.

The crisis in the APC worsened on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the APC national chairman.

But earlier on the same day, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, announced his resignation from the APC, citing the party’s decision to disqualify him from participating in the June 22 governorship primary as his reason.

In a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel led by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the Court of Appeal affirmed the earlier March 4, 2020 order of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, suspending Oshiomhole and barring him from continuing to parade himself as the national chairman of the party.

Recall that Justice Danlami Senchi of the FCT High Court had on March 4, 2020 suspended Oshiomhole as APC’s national chairman on the grounds that the party wrongfully continued to retain him in office while he was under suspension as a member of the party.

the suit was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants.

Together with the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, and the Department of State Services, the six applicants were the respondents to appeal jointly filed by Oshiomhole and the APC.

The main suit leading to the order earlier suspending Oshiomhole was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants, including the Vice-Chairman of the party, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, and the Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua.

The rest of the applicants are members Oshiomhole’s Ward 10 of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Oshawo Steven, Fani Wabulari, and Princewill Ejogharado.

The plaintiffs are loyalists of the Governor Godwin Obaseki in the state.

The ward executives had in November 2019 suspended the national chairman as a  member of the party for anti-party activities, a decision which the FCT High Court anchored the order suspending  Oshiomhole on November 2, 2019.

In compliance with the court order the security agencies had promptly taken over the national secretariat of the party in Abuja blocking Oshiomhole from accessing his office.

But Oshiomhole had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), appealed against the court’s interlocutory order.

Following his application for stay of execution of the judgment, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by by Justice Abubakar Yahaya had on March 16, 2020 halted the execution of the judgment by reversing Oshiomhole’s suspension, pending the hearing of his substantive appeal.

But the Justice Onyemanam-led panel, which was appointed to hear the substantive appeal, re-imposed the suspension in its judgment delivered on Tuesday.
The judgment was delivered hours after the hearing was conducted on Tuesday.
Oshiomhole, who was present in court, was represented by Damien Dodo (SAN). He did not grant any interview after the judgment.
Justice Mohammed Lamido, who delivered the lead judgment, said the lower court had rightly issued the order of suspension on March 4, 2020.
He resolved all the issues raised in the appeal against Oshiomhole.
He also ruled that the plaintiffs at the lower court who were the respondents in the appeal, placed sufficient materials before the lower court to warrant the granting of the interlocutory order.

“In these circumstances, the position taken by the lower court that the plaintiffs have made a case for the issuance of the interlocutory order  is proper and that part of the decision is hereby upheld,” Justice Lamido ruled.

On Oshiomhole’s contention about an alleged breach of his right to fair hearing, Justice Lamido held that contrary to his argument, the order issued by the lower court was for his suspension and not removal from office.

He said the November 2, 2019 decision of the party in Ward 10 in Etsako LGA suspending him from office was ratified by the local government and state executives.

He noted that Oshiomhole timeously filed a suit to challenge his suspension on December 9, 2019 but later withdrew it on an erroneous impression.

He added it took him 72 days from the date of his suspension to file another suit to challenge his suspension by the party.

The judge ruled, “In the circumstances, I hold that the appellant’s right to fair hearing was not breached.

“The appeal is unmeritorious and it is hereby dismissed.”

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