APC CRISIS: OSHIOMHOLE FINALLY OPENS UP ON ACTING SUCCESSOR, HIS NEXT LINE OF ACTION

Samson Adenekan

Days after the Court of Appeal upheld his suspension, the embattled national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says he has accepted the judgement in good faith.

He disclosed this on Wednesday evening while speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television.

Mr Oshiomhole was first suspended by an Abuja High Court in early March following an application filed by one Oluwole Afolabi, a counsel to one of the aggrieved National Working Committee members.

Mr Afolabi, in his application dated and filed on January 16, outlined the earlier vote of no confidence passed on the national chairman by his primary constituency in Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.

The suspension was initially lifted after the appellate court granted a stay of execution of the high court’s order.

Mr Oshiomhole, a former labour leader, has been locked in a protracted political tussle with his protege and successor in office, Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Mr Obaseki announced his resignation from the party after he was disqualified from contesting re-election under the APC; a few days before the court affirmed Mr Oshiomhole’s suspension.

Both feuding politicians are outside the party structure, at least for now.

The development has also led to a tussle for who heads the party for now as acting chairman.

Way forward

However, speaking on the way forward after the appeal court judgement, the erstwhile Edo governor said he will reveal his next line of action after discussing with his lawyers.

“In our democracy, the court is an independent arm of government. When they hand out judgment, it is not for you to pick and choose whether to obey or not.

“I accept their judgment in good faith. I am a product of the judiciary.

“My lawyers will now look at the judgement and advise what is the next line action,” he said on the programme.

Mr Oshiomhole has the option of heading to the Supreme Court to seek judicial relief.

Also commenting over the subsequent tussle for his position by the deputy national secretary, Victor Giadom and members of the party’s national working committee, Mr Oshiomhole cautioned the former to respect the party constitution.

“My advice to my brother, Victor, is about common sense – in the absence of the Chairman, there is nothing in our rules and the court can only interpret the rules of the party and the Constitution of Nigeria.

“It serves the common sense that if the chairman is absent, it should be the deputy. In the absence of the deputy, it is the vice-chairman. How does the deputy secretary come in? As we speak, we have a secretary in the office. People should put God first, our party’s interest second, and our democracy deep in their hearts and not trying to use any externality to destabilise it,” the erstwhile national said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Giadom declared himself the acting national chairmanagainst the decision of 15 of the 21 members of the party’s national working committee who had appointed the reportedly sick deputy national chairman (South), Abiola Ajimobi, as the interim national chairman.

Their decision is backed by the party’s constitution.

Mr Giadom hinged his decision on a court order which he said had “declared him the rightful occupant of the seat in absence of Mr Oshiomhole