Victor Giadom, the All Progressives Congress(APC) deputy national secretary, ended up with eggs on his face on Monday.
He has been the arrow head of the move by some rebels within the party to oust Adams Oshiomhole as chairman. But his efforts were aborted at Aso Villa and the Appeal court, in a stunning turn-around acceded to Oshiomhole’s prayer by hanging a lower court order removing Oshiomhole as chairman.
Giadom’s moves began to fall into smithereens after President Buhari and governors of the party jettisoned the plans for an emergency meeting of National Executive Committee.
Hours after, a Federal court in Lagos stopped the planned NEC meeting and the appeal court after first making Oshiomhole miserable by not hearing his appeal, made a volte-face by listening to him and giving him the legal order he wanted.
The developments, in quick succession would make Giadom scurry back into his playbook on how to remove a party leader.
Until Monday’s decision, Giadom had, in all intent and purposes installed himself as Oshiomhole’s interim successor, waving a court order and the endorsement of a faction of South South APC, which supported him at a meeting said to have held at Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Abuja home.
Matters had initially become miserable for Oshiomhole on Monday as the Court of Appeal that was set to hear his case for a stay of execution of the Abuja court judgment failed to hear him and instead said it would give a fresh date in the future.
At the same time, his opponents dug in, with Mustapha Saliu, rushing to Justice S.U. Bature of the FCT High Court to procure another interim order that makes Giadom APC acting national chairman for the purpose of the 17 March NEC meeting and any other NEC meeting. Another Abuja court had triggered the whole crisis two weeks ago by asking Oshiomhole to step aside, without up till now, hearing a whimper from Oshiomhole.
Giadom, a former works commissioner in the second term of Rotimi Amaechi as governor of Rivers State(2011-2015), ought not to be a member of the National Working Committee of the party, if the party had kept to the rules.
He resigned his position in 2019 to be the running mate of Tonye Cole in the court-aborted bid for Rivers governorship race and ought not to have returned to take his post in the NWC, when it is not a family title. But Oshiomhole accepted him and even gave him a higher responsibility to step in as acting national secretary, after Mai Mala Bunu, went on to become governor of Yobe State.
Giadom, from the vantage position is now helping the rebels within and outside the NWC to complete Oshiomhole’s coup de grace.
Giadom played his hand very early as the Brutus within the Oshiomhole-run NWC after he quickly said the party would carry out the court order suspending Oshiomhole as APC party chairman, knowing that Oshiomhole had not even been heard by the court.
He was certainly part of the plot and his involvement bloomed more and more into light in the next few days.
He needed to clear the decks after announcing he had the nod of President Muhammadu Buhari to call an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party for 17 March.
After his notice was countermanded by other officials of the NWC, who were appointed the way he was appointed to hold forte as national secretary, Giadom moved to question their locus, saying the appointments have to be ratified by the convention of the party, which to Oshiomhole’s discredit has not taken place since 2018, after Buhari was endorsed as candidate and Oshiomhole and others emerged as national officers.
Those new officers, Abiola Ajimobi, deputy President, South, Waziri Bulama, acting national secretary and Paul Chukwuma as national auditor, were also armed with a court order banning the party from shutting them out of APC NEC meeting or resuming in the secretariat as NWC officers.
On Monday, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos gave a superfluous order, coming after Aso Rock decision, restraining the APC from holding its National Executive Council (NEC ) meeting scheduled for tomorrow 17 March, 2020. The presiding Judge, Mohammed Liman, gave the order after listening to the submission of the counsel to the plaintiffs.
As things are, the future of the APC, as a unified party, is now in the hands of both President Buhari and the governors, on one hand and the courts on the other, with various court orders now being procured by interested stakeholders.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, one of the founding fathers of the party waded in on Sunday, accusing the anti-Oshiomhole forces of plotting for 2023 and distracting President Buhari’s administration.
On Saturday night, Chief Bisi Akande, the pioneer chairman of the APC asked the litigants to allow his National Reconciliation Committee to complete its assignment, as given by President Buhari.
The immediate trigger of the crisis is the war between Oshiomhole and Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki. The duo and their supporters have been engaged in an attrition war, leading to the factionalisation of the party in the state and Oshiomhole’s suspension by a faction controlled by Obaseki.
The crisis snowballed to the centre, with Giadom and other party rebels recruited to smash Oshiomhole.
The rebels were the suspended APC National Vice Chairman, North East, Mustapha Saliu, APC Edo State factional Chairman, Anselm Ojezua, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Mr Oshawo Stephen, Fani Wabulari and Evangelist Princewill Ejogharado.
They were the people who went to court and out of the blues, procured an interim order from Justice Danlami Senchi, suspending Oshiomhole from office.
President Buhari and the governors have brought some calm to the party by stopping the NEC meeting and also given Oshiomhole and his supporters time to re-strategise to deal with the crisis and save the APC from collapse.