Party, not Buhari can determine Oyegun’s tenure — APC tells court

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has opposed the hearing of the suit by aggrieved members of the party over the tenure elongation for the National Working Committee (NWC) led by John Odigie Oyegun before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The members led by Ademorin Kuye and Are Mutiu (Lagos); Sani Mayanchi (Zamfara); and Machu Tokwat (Kaduna) had earlier sought an ex parte order directing the NWC members to show cause why the court should not bar them from parading themselves as national officers of the party effective June 30.

Those joined as respondents in the suit included the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, the party’s national chairman, Oyegun and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the applicants, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) asked the court to allow the matter to be heard since President Muhammadu Buhari had at the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party on Tuesday, March 27, admitted that the tenure elongation was illegal.

However, defence lawyers, Akin Olujimi (SAN); Joseph Daudu (SAN); James Onoja (SAN) and Idris Yakubu, asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable them respond to the originating processes just served on them.

Daudu, who is counsel to the APC, argued that Order 7 Rule 1 provided for 30 days from the date of filing the suit for a reply. He therefore asked the court to discountenance Okutepa’s submission.

Responding to the president’s comment, Daudu said whatever view thereof was Buhari’s personal opinion and carried no weight until the party met and deliberated on the matter.

“As far as President Buhari’s view is concerned, it carries no weight until the party meet and decide and deliberated on it. As far as the party is concerned he is an ordinary member like others,” he said.

After listening to the argument of counsel, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba assured that the court would give fair hearing to all parties in the matter. He ordered the filing and service of processes before the court and adjourned till April 16 for hearing.