All is still not well within the fold of All Progressives Congress (APC). The Legal Committee of the ruling party Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is said to be in a desperate search for ‘compromised judges’ to vacate a court order stopping its elective national convention that is scheduled for March 26, 2022, Elendu Reports has learnt.
Elendu Reports learnt that a Bwari Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in suit number FCT/HC/CV/2958/2021 had restrained the ruling party from holding its convention until a substantive suit has been heard and determined.
The suit, filed by one Salisu Umoru at the court had the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe State and now-ousted chairman of the party as respondents.
According to the court document, “That the 1st Defendant/Respondent can only conduct its national convention after the hearing and determination of the substantive suit pending before this honourable court”.
“That in the interest of justice accelerated hearing of the substantive suit is hereby ordered.
“That this matter is hereby adjourned to the 10th day of January 2022 for hearing of the substantive suit at High Court No. 15, Kubwa, FCT-Abuja.”
But an APC chieftain said the court order has hobbled the party as the court already fixed March 30, 2022 as next adjourned date.
“That means the party won’t be able to hold its convention on March 26, 2021 until another court over rule the earlier order,” the party man who did not want to be named said.
“With INEC having published an elections timetable, the APC is now under pressure to meet stipulated timelines failing which it may not be able to field candidates in the 2023 general elections.
“It’s so sad that this is happening at this time, the party is in serious crisis and controversies surrounding its national convention. Some high-ranking party leaders first clashed over the date for the convention, after that was settled, another crisis began over the controversial endorsement of some candidates by President Muhammadu Buhari at the behest of some Northern state governors.”
“The Legal Sub-Committee of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is now frantically shopping for corrupt judges who will hide behind legal technicalities to vacate the subsisting court order that has barred the party from holding its convention.”
“It is a serious matter because our party leaders are now seeing that the party is inching towards the 2019 Rivers and Zamfara states scenario where candidates fielded by the party were deemed ineligible. So, as things stand, the team will do all that is necessary to avert that situation. ”
“Conservatively, they have voted billions of naira for that aspect. They have strategized to work with more than one judge to increase the success rate of this intervention.”