Sunday, 25 November 2018

We Will Not Withdraw Our Law Suits - Aggrieved APC Members Dare NWC

Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress that took the party to court for various issues have vowed to continue with their cases despite the directive given by the National Working Committee of the party demanding the immediate withdrawal of the court cases.

The NWC, on Monday, threatened to sanction any party member that failed to comply with the directive.

The NWC, in a statement by the spokesperson for the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had said the directive to withdraw all court cases was compulsory while advising aggrieved members to take their cases to the reconciliatory committee headed by Aregbesola or be ready for sanctions.

He said the party had resolved to activate constitutional provisions to penalise all recalcitrant members, stressing that their action could undermine the authority of the APC and hurt the party’s interest.

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The statement read, “We hereby strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes.”

But some of the litigants, who spoke to Punch, said they would not allow their rights to be trampled upon without seeking legal redress.

They dared the party to go ahead with the sanctions, saying they would fight for their rights and would not succumb to any threat.

A former governorship aspirant of the APC in Osun State, Mr Kunle Adegoke, who filed a case against the party following the adoption of direct primary to pick the party’s governorship candidate in the state, said he would not withdraw the case.

He said the direct primary adopted by the party for the July 20 primary election violated the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act (as amended) and relevant sections of the APC constitution.

He argued that the party had no register to know genuine members eligible to vote during the primary.

Adegoke, stated, “My case is pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja, and it is coming up for judgment on January 11, 2019. We argued that last Thursday, and I can’t withdraw it. I will see the case to the end.

“Those who will be directly affected by the case have been making appeals that I should withdraw the case but I declined.”

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In Rivers State, the lawmaker representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, and his supporters are still in court over the crisis in the state chapter of the APC.

Abe recently approached the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, seeking for a declaration that he remained the rightful governorship candidate of the party in the state.

Speaking in a telephone interview, the media aide to the lawmaker, Mr Parry Benson, said though Abe was ready to meet with the Rauf Aregbesola-led reconciliation committee to state his own part of the matter, withdrawing the court case could not be by fiat.

Benson added, “The NWC’s directive just came and you cannot just go and withdraw cases from court like that; it is always through a process. The court of law is not a paramount ruler’s palace where, with a bottle of local gin, you say you don’t want to continue with an argument you had with your neighbour. No, it is not done that way.”

Also, a former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, has said the case he filed against Governor Kayode Fayemi will continue despite the NWC’s directive.

The Director-General of the Segun Oni Campaign Organisation, Dr Ife Arowosoge, who spoke on behalf of the former governor with one of our correspondents, said Oni was not aware of such directive and could not rely on newspaper publications to take decision.

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He said, “Chief Segun Oni has not been officially contacted. If it is a directive of the party, there will be an official communication. I am not aware of such. We cannot rely on publications. When he is officially contacted, we will take a position. The party has not communicated to us. So, we are not aware of such.”

In Cross River State, a faction of the party, led by Mr Etim John, has refused to withdraw its case from the court. The faction had in suit number FCT/HC/CV/106/2018 dragged the APC to court and reportedly got an order which restrained the party from conducting any state, local government and ward congresses.

Source: Punch

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