Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday struck out a suit seeking the removal of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, from office over the crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the party.
The suit, which was initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led faction, was struck out by Justice S. O. Orji who awarded the cost of N100, 000 against the plaintiffs, who withdrew the action.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Abang Peter, informed the court that his clients were no longer interested in the suit against the national chairman, adding that, “upon deep reflection, the claimants thought it wise to instruct that we discontinue the suit against the APC national chairman.”
Specifically, Steven Oshawo and others from Ward 10, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, where Oshiomhole hails from, had gone to court asking it to stop him from parading himself as APC national chairman.
He alleged that Oshiomhole has been suspended from the APC by members of his ward.
But, Oshiomhole, in his defence, argued that the appellants do not have the powers to suspend him according to the APC constitution, besides all the plaintiffs, in the suit, were earlier suspended in their respective units in Ward 10. Therefore, at the time they purported to have suspended the national chairman, they have no such powers anymore since they were earlier on suspension.
Oshiomhole also noted before the court that article 21 of the APC constitution automatically expels any party member who ran to court without exhausting the provisions of the party constitution, therefore described the suit as lacking in merit and should be dismissed.
However, on January 20, 2020, upon being served with all the processes by the defendant, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to withdraw the suit filed against Oshiomhole. But counsel to Oshiomhole, Ikhide Ehighelua, opposed the application through a counter affidavit and urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety.
Ehighelua said: “My Lord, this matter should be dismissed because discontinuance is not directed at any peace. The plaintiffs have gone to file another matter with similar reliefs in the FCT High Court so the issue of discontinuance in this matter does not hold water because they knew already they have no case here, so the suit should be dismissed in its entirety My Lord and award damages to the defendant.”