By Bukola Olasanmi
The Federal High Court in Abuja this morning dismissed two suits challenging the attempt by All Progressives Congress to extend the tenures of its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other officials of the party at the national, state, local government area, and ward levels across the country.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in two separate judgments, held that the suits had become hypothetical, academic and spent the party having reversed the decision to extend the officials’ tenures.
The judge in his judgments noted that he had taken “judicial notice” of the fact that the party had started conducting its congresses for the purpose of electing its officials at the ward and local government levels.
He also said he had taken the judicial notice of the fact that the party had slated its national convention for May 19.
The judge held that the court does not give judgment “for fancy” but only “addresses live issues”.
But the judge held that had the attempt to extend the tenures matured into reality it would have been a violation of both the Nigerian and the APC’s constitutions.
The party’s National Executive Council had at its meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 27, 2018, extended the four-year tenure of the party officials due to expire on June 30, 2018, by one year.
A member of the APC in Imo State, Mr. Okere Uzochukwu, filed the first suit on March 2, 2018 and marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/219/2018 to challenge the move.
The second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/237/2018, was filed on March 8, 2018, by four APC members aspiring to run for leadership positions of the party, to challenge the extension of the tenures of the incumbent holders of the executive offices of the party.
President Buhari had at a later meeting of the NEC advised against the tenure extension because of possible dire legal consequences it could hold for the party.
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