The Legal Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is reportedly shopping for ‘compromised judges’ to vacate a court order stopping its elective national convention that it had scheduled for March 26, 2022, a source told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters gathered 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.
“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,” the court order seen by SaharaReporters reads.
“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.”
An APC chieftain said the court order has hobbled the party as the court already fixed March 30, 2022, as the next adjourned date.
“That means the party won’t be able to hold its convention on March 26, 2021, until another court overrules the earlier order,” he told SaharaReporters.
“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.”
He added, “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.”
Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today show on Wednesday evening, Kaduna State governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai said the President has directed the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party to vacate the court order.
“We are aware of this court order, we are taking steps to deal with it, we are also proceeding with reconciliation,” the governor said.