By Abubakar Ahmed
A group of 10 All Progressives Congress (APC) local government chairmen in Zamfara State, have filed a case before the Federal High Court, Gusau, challenging their recent dissolution by the National Caretaker Chairman of the party, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni.
A copy of the suit obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Gusau indicated that the case was filed before the court on Monday, July 12.
The Chairman of APC’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, (CECPC), and Yobe state governor, Mai-Mala Buni had on June 29, announced the dissolution of all the party’s leadership structure in Zamfara while receiving Gov. Bello Matawalle into the APC from the PDP.
The plaintiffs, Alhaji Abdulaziz Danmaliki and nine others applied to the court on the matter, through D. C. Enwelum (SAN), of Bello Umar & Co., Legal Practitioners and Notary Public of Zamfara situated in Gusau.
The suit has the CECPC Chairman of APC, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni as first defendant, the All Progressives Congress (APC), second defendant and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as third defendant.
The plaintiffs want the court to determine whether the CECPC chairman had the right to dissolve them and handover affairs of the party, and whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can lawfully accept and deal with any other officer of the party in the state, other than the plaintiffs.
They asked the court to declare as “mere oral announcement, of the dissolution, on the June 29, as illegal and a void act contrary to Article 14.1 (lll), (V) and (Vlll) of the party’s constitution.”
They are also affirming that the dissolution does not extinguish the legal rights of the plaintiffs and that the first defendant lacks the right to remove the plaintiffs who were duly appointed by the National Secretariat of the party on December 8, 2020.
They submitted that the June 29, announcement, dissolving all executives and party structures in the state is null, void and of no effect as well as seeking the court to order the third defendant (INEC), not to accept or deal with any other state officer other than the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs also urged the court to set aside and nullify the announcement made by the first defendant, dissolving the executives and handing over affairs of the party to Gov. Matawalle as the party leader.
They also prayed the court to order that the appointment of the plaintiffs subsists.
They appealed to the court to restrain the first and second defendants from disrupting their tenure of office pending the conduct of congresses at all levels and also restrain the third defendant from recognising or dealing with other members.
Enwelum (SAN), the lawyer in the suit, submitted that the defendants should respond within 30 days of receipt of the summon from the July 12, without which “proceedings may be taken as the presiding judge may think just and expedient.”
Crisis began in the APC following the June 29, defection of the state governor, Bello Matawalle from the PDP to the APC during which the party’s CECPC Chairman, dissolved all the state executive structures and announced the governor as the new leader of the party.
This development, however, did not go down well with some stakeholders.