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Court fixes June 13 to hear suit seeking Ganduje’s removal

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday fixed June 13 to hear a suit by the North Central All Progressives Congress (APC) Forum seeking…

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday fixed June 13 to hear a suit by the North Central All Progressives Congress (APC) Forum seeking to oust Abdullahi Ganduje as the National Chairman of the party.

According to Justice Inyang Ekwo who presided over the hearing, the June 13 date will allow parties in the suit to address all grey areas and the necessary processes.

In suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/599/24, the North Central APC Forum, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Saleh Zazzaga from Plateau State, had sued Ganduje, saying he is occupying the position of the National Chairman illegally as the position is for the North Central region according to party arrangements.

The APC itself and the Independent National Electoral Commission are also defendants in the suit.

Also, the forum sought an order directing the INEC not to accord recognition to actions taken by the APC, including congresses, primaries and nominations, since Mr Ganduje became APC chairman on August 3, 2023.

In the originating summons filed on May 6, the forum further said that the National Executive Committee of the APC breached the party’s constitution when it appointed Mr Ganduje, from Kano State in the North-West geo-political zone to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State in the North-Central geo-political zone.

Ganduje’s appointment to replace Adamu, according to the forum, was contrary to Article 31.5(1) f of the APC constitution and ultra-vires the powers of the NEC of the party, adding that by the true interpretation of Article 31.5(1) of the APC Constitution, 2013 (as amended), the party is bound to comply with the procedure for the replacement of an officer in the event of a vacancy.

According to the forum therefore, the APC ought to have appointed a member from Nasarawa State or the North-Central region into the national championship position of the party.

When the case was then called on Thursday, the claimant’s counsel, Ayuba Abdul, informed the court that the matter was slated for hearing of their motion ex-parte for substituted service of their processes on Mr Ganduje (1st defendant).

He told the court that efforts made by the bailiff to serve the embattled APC chairman were unsuccessful, adding that he was surprised to see Ganduje’s lawyer in court, having not been served with the court documents.

In view of this and other areas needing sorting out, Justice Ekwo then adjourned the matter until June 13 for hearing of the substantive suit and the preliminary objection.

The judge, who ordered parties to file and respond to applications in the suit before the next adjourned date, directed that hearing notice be issued to INEC, as INEC was not represented in court.

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