The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, ordered substituted service of court summons on Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, in a suit challenging the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered that the summons for the governor, being the APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman be pasted at the entrance of the National Secretariat of the APC at No: 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse, Abuja.
The order followed complaints by the plaintiff in the matter, Barrister Kalu Kalu Agu that the respondents have been evading service of court summons since they got wind of the suit.
Others who are also affected by the order of substituted service are; Governor Sani Bello, Senator Ken Nnamani, Isiaka Oyebola, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Honorable Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Professor Tahir Mamman, Ismail Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
In a short ruling after an exparte motion was argued by the plaintiff on behalf of himself, Taiwo ordered that the originating summons and other processes in the matter be served on the 3rd to 14 defendants by posting same on the entrance gate of the APC Headquarters in Abuja since the party is the second defendant in the matter.
The judge further ordered that the service, when effected by the court bailiff, shall be deemed good and proper service and adjourned hearing in the matter to 4 September 2020.
Kalu, a Youth Leader of the APC in Abia State is challenging the powers of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) to sack the national leaders barely two years out of their constitutionally guaranteed four-year term of office.
In the suit with the number, FHC/ABJ/ CS/736/2020, the plaintiff asked for an order setting aside the dissolution of the NWC by APC’s NEC meeting held at the presidential villa last month.
He is also praying the court for an order restraining the National Caretaker Committee members led by Buni from parading themselves as national officers of the APC and from usurping the functions of the party’s NWC.
Plaintiff also prayed the court for an order restraining the National Caretaker Committee from putting into effect the resolution of the APC’s NEC meeting passed on 25 June 2020 and for another order against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing, dealing with or relating with the caretaker committee in whatever guise to usurp the functions of the NWC.
Similarly, the plaintiff also prayed for an order of mandatory injunction compelling INEC to continue to recognise the Oshiomhole led members of the NWC as the authentic national officers of the party.
He also prayed the court for an order striking down Article 17 of the APC’s constitution which provided for the appointment of officers into the organs of the party for being inconsistent with section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and section 85 of the Electoral Act of 2010.
In a 44- paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff claimed to be one of the foundation members of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) under which he contested for the House of Representatives in Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency of Abia State in 2011 and that after the 2011 general elections, the party along with others merged in 2013 to form the present APC.
He is, therefore, praying the court to declare the dissolution of the NWC as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and another declaration that the recognition accorded the caretaker committee is unconstitutional and illegal.
Plaintiff further prayed the court to declare that the setting up of the caretaker committee for APC by the NEC on 25 June, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect.
Respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sani Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Hon norableAkinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Professor Tahir Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.