The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it would remain neutral in the suit seeking to nullify the one-year tenure extension granted to National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
In a 4-paragraph counter affidavit that was deposed to by one Ibrahim Sani Mohammed, INEC, said it would abide by whatever decision the Federal High Court in Abuja takes on the matter.
INEC’s lawyer, Idris Yakubu, submitted, “My lord we decided not to file any process either in support or in opposition to the suit. We want to remain neutral and will be bound by judgment of this court.”
It will be recalled that the National Executive Council of the APC had at a meeting it held on February 27, 2018, extended the four-year tenure of the party officials due to expire on June 30, by one year.
However, four aggrieved members of the party- Ademorin Kuye from Lagos State; Sani Mayanchi from Zamfara State and currently the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state; Are Mutiu also from Lagos State, and Machu Tokwat from Kaduna State, maintained that the action of the APC NEC was illegal.
Aside Odigie-Oyegun, others affected in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/237/2018 are officials of the party at the National, State, Local Government Area, and Ward level across the country.
Cited as 1st to 4th defendants in the suit are INEC, APC, Chief Odigie-Oyegun and the National Organising Secretary of the party, Senator Osita Izunaso.
Among other prayers, Kuye and others want the court to order “Mandating/Compelling the APC to organize elective National, State, Local Government and Ward conventions of the party in accordance with section 20 of the APC Constitution 2014 (as amended) and section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) for the purpose of electing members of the National Working Committee, State Working Committee, Local Government Area Executive Committee and Ward Executive Committee of the party on or before the expiration of the tenure of the existing officers of the party.”
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