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Oshiomhole replies traducers: I am still APC chairman

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Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has insisted he remains the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the order of an Abuja Federal High Court early Wednesday that he should vacate office.

Simon Ebegbulem, chief Press Secretary said, Oshiomhole remains the Chairman because APC’s lawyers had filed for a stay of execution of the judgment ordering his removal from office.

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“Our legal department is studying the matter and we have filed for a stay of execution and appealed the ruling.

“With those processes, Oshiomhole remains the National Chairman of the party,” Ebegbulem said.

In a stunning ruling on Wednesday, Justice Danlami Senchi, directed the APC to desist from acknowledging Oshiomhole as its chairman. He also directed the party not to allow him access to its secretariat, pending the hearing and determination of the case on 7 April.

The judge gave the ruling on an application of interlocutory injunction by six members of the party,

In the application, the plaintiffs, led by Mustapha Salihu, prayed the court to stop Oshiomhole from acting as APC chairman since he had been suspended as a member of the party in his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.

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They listed Oshiomhole as first respondent and the APC as second respondent in the application filed on their behalf by Oluwole Afolabi.

The plaintiffs stated that Oshiomhole’s rights as a member of the party had ceased by virtue of his suspension at the ward level. They argued that, since the former Edo State governor never contested the suspension, he could not continue to act as the party’s chairman.

Justice Senchi said the former governor, who on his Twitter handle describes himself as “Strategic General Chairman,” had been wrongfully kept in office.

Justice Senchi, who held that political parties must be bound by their constitutions, said he was of the view that since Oshiomhole had been suspended by his ward, he had no basis parading himself as the APC national chairman.

He thereafter adjourned hearing of the substantive suit till April 7, 2020.

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The policemen arrived in two batches from the FCT Command and Wuse Divisional Police Station at about 5pm in nine Toyota Hilux vans. This was after two court officers served the Legal Department of the APC the High Court order.

They positioned themselves in strategic positions in the premises and directed all staff members to go back to their offices. Visitors were advised to leave.

Sources within the secretariat said the presence of the security agents was to prevent hoodlums capitalising on the confusion arising from the court ruling to invade the secretariat.

Acting National Secretary of the party, Chief Victor Giadom, confirmed that the party had received the court order and will abide by the content.

“We have received the court order and as a law abiding party, we shall respect it,” Giadom told reporter in Abuja.

He added: “As a party, we are aware of the court injunction. As a law abiding party, we respect all lawful court orders. Very soon, the National Working Committee will meet and you will hear further from the party.

“I am trying to say that APC will respect all lawful court orders. We will soon do that.”

The acting national secretary defended the presence of the security agents at the secretariat, saying: “there is nothing new about it.”

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