The All Progressives Congress, APC, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the power to determine tenure of its officers.
The party said this while opposing the hearing of the suit by aggrieved members of the party over the tenure elongation for the National Working Committee, NWC, led by John Odigie Oyegun before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The aggrieved members, led by Ademorin Kuye and Are Mutiu (Lagos); Sani Mayanchi (Zamfara); and Machu Tokwat (Kaduna) had earlier sought an ex parte order directing the NWC members to show cause why the court should not stop them from continuing as national officers of the party effective June 30.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC, the party’s national chairman, Oyegun and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso were joined as respondents in the suit.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the agitating members, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, demanded that the case be heard since Buhari had at the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party on Tuesday, admitted that the tenure elongation was illegal.
However, defence lawyers, Akin Olujimi, SAN, Joseph Daudu, SAN, James Onoja SAN, and Idris Yakubu, asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable them respond to the originating processes just served on them.
Daudu, standing as the counsel to the APC, argued that Order 7 Rule 1 provided for 30 days from the date of filing the suit for a reply.
He therefore asked the court to discountenance Okutepa’s submission.
Responding to the president’s comment on Oyegun and others’ tenure elongation, Daudu said whatever view thereof was Buhari’s personal opinion and carried no weight until the party met and deliberated on the matter.
He told the court, “As far as President Buhari’s view is concerned, it carries no weight until the party meet and decide and deliberated on it. As far as the party is concerned he is an ordinary member like others.”
Having listened to the argument of counsel, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba assured that the court would give fair hearing to all parties in the matter.
He also ordered the filing and service of processes before the court and adjourned till April 16 for hearing.