COURT DECLINES TO ISSUE ORDER RESTRAINING OSHIOMHOLE FROM ACTING AS APC CHAIRMAN

From Tony Akowe, Abuja

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court on Thursday turned down an ex parte application filed by the National Vice Chairman Northeast of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mustapha Salihu, the factional Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anselm Ojezua and others, seeking to compel Adams Oshiomhole to vacate office as the party’s National Chairman.

Some loyalists of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki had called for the removal of Oshiomhole, having been allegedly suspended by the state chapter of the party.

But the court, on Tuesday, declined to remove Oshiomhole as it refused to grant the ex parte motion filed by Salihu, Ojezua and the others.  The court ordered that the defendants (Oshiomhole, APC and others) be put on notice before the motion is heard to ensure fair hearing.  In a motion filed by their lawyer Oluwole Afolabi, the plaintiffs asked the court to stop Oshiomhole from parading himself as APC National Chairman.

They urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) not to allow the defendant have access to the office of the chairman pending the determination of the Motion on Notice in the suit.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Counsel to Oshiomhole and APC, Demian D. Dodo (SAN), told the court that the defence had not been served any notice.

The lawyer drew the court’s attention to the Memorandum of Appearance and Undertaking to accept service of processes on behalf of the first and second defendants.

But the plaintiffs told the court that they would abandon prayers one and two of their motion ex parte seeking leave of the court to serve the first defendant by substituted means

The plaintiffs sought to proceed with the motion ex parte, but Justice Danlami Senchi halted the move and ordered that the defendants be put on notice to ensure fair hearing in the matter.

The order followed a heated argument by Dodo, who expressed shock at the attempt by the plaintiffs to coerce the court into granting their prayers without serving the processes on the first and second defendants.

Justice Senchi ruled that the court will hear all parties in the suit instead of granting the ex parte application to have Oshiomhole vacate his office as National Chairman of the APC as requested by the plaintiffs.

The matter was adjourned till February 18, 2020 for hearing of the plaintiffs’ application.