The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the appeal by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State against the party’s faction loyal to a former governor of the state, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.
A three-member panel of the appellate court presided by Justice Haruna Tsammani yesterday set aside the judgment of the FCT High Court for lack of jurisdiction.
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The panel, while upholding the three appeals, also held that the originating summons was wrongly commenced in Abuja, adding that the matter was an internal affair of the party.
The appeals followed the two rulings of an FCT High Court which upheld the ward and local government congresses won by the faction loyal to Shekarau and Senator Jibril Barau (Kano North), numbering about 17,908 and 1,319 members respectively.
The high court had in the two verdicts on the ward and local council congresses on November 30 and December 17, 2021, refused a preliminary objection by members loyal to Governor Ganduje seeking to uphold the fresh congresses.
The suit on the ward congresses was filed at the high court by 17,908 members, represented by Mutteka Bala Suleiman and 78 others on August 8, 2021, while the suit challenging the local government congresses was filed on September 30, 2021, by Muhammad Chola and 73 others.
The suits were brought through their lawyer, Nureini Jimoh (SAN) against the APC national caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, which included John James Akpanudoedehe, Olayide Adewole Akinremi, and Senator Abba Ali.
Others joined in the suit as defendants included members of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Planning Committee: Tony Macfoy, Barr Auwalu Abdullahi, Usman Musa Kaita and Adedayo Iyaniwura.
In granting the five reliefs sought by Bala Suleiman, Justice Hamza Muazu further declared as illegal the non-recognition of the duly elected, validly, properly authentically and democratically elected persons as the 27 elected ward executive committee members for each of the 484 wards in Kano State; five elected ward delegates to each of the 44 LGAs; and five elected ward delegates per ward area for the state party congress.
The judge further made an order of perpetual injunction “restraining the defendants from receiving, accepting and or acting or purporting to act on or approving any other list on or purported list of ward executive committee members emanating from any other committee other than the duly constituted Ward Congress Committee (WCC) of the 1st Defendant (APC).”
The court also upheld the second motion by Chola and 73 others which sought to validate the local government congresses of the party conducted on September 17, 2021, in the 44 local government areas of the state which returned 1,319 winners.
Ganduje visits APC national secretariat
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, yesterday, visited the National Secretariat of the APC in Abuja, after the court judgement where he appealed to the Senator Ibrahim Shekarau-led faction of the party in Kano State to give peace a chance for the stability of the state chapter of the party.
The governor, who went to the party’s secretariat with top government functionaries across the legislature, executive and party lines said, “I am appealing to them (Shekarau-led faction) because we are members of one family, the APC.
“So I’m appealing to them to come, and Kano State is almost 100 per cent APC. We will come together and forge ahead in such a manner.
“We have to thank God for this very important victory at the moment. As he rightly said, we APC in Kano State have got a judgement that all the elections we conducted from the wards to the state level are legally recognized.
“I want to thank the party and the leadership for initiating the peace move to ensure that our party is united. I have to thank the party for that. A judgement has been passed in our favour and APC stakeholders in Kano are here to show our appreciation to the leadership of the party.”
Ganduje later told newsmen that the state chairman produced by his faction during the state congress, Hon. Abdullahi Abbas, has been issued the certificate of return by the party’s national leadership.
Shekarau faction heads to S/Court
Meanwhile, the Shekarau-led faction, which has Ahmadu Haruna Zago as its state chairman, says it will appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.
Ahmadu Haruna Zago, told BBC Hausa Service “We will appeal. Abiding by the ruling is quite different from filing an appeal. Our lawyers are studying the court’s ruling.”
By John Chuks Azu, Saawua Terzungwe, Dalhatu Liman (Abuja) & Clement A. Oloyede (Kano)