By Moyosore Ade-Michael
A new twist has been added to the leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, as Chief Victor Giadom, the party’s National Deputy Secretary, has laid claim to being the party’s Acting National Chairman following the Court of Appeal’s ruling upholding the suspension of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Shortly, after Oshiomhole was pronounced suspended by the court, APC’s NWC had appointed former Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Acting National Chairman.
Senator Ajimobi is APC’s National Deputy Chairman, South
The party said it was guided by the advice of its legal department, according to a statement by national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu.
“According to Section 14.2. (iii),of the APC constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, North/South “Shall act as the National Chairman in the absence of the National Chairman from his zone”.”
However, while Ajimobi is said to critically ill, Victor Giadom, the APC Deputy National Secretary, has said he’s the rightful person as the party’s Acting National Chairman, according to a recent court’s ruling.
In a press statement signed by Chief Wole Afolabi, counsel to the Giadom, issued yesterday, it says; “Our attention has been drawn to a Statement purportedly issued by the Publicity Secretary of the APC to the effect that Senator Abiola Ajumobi is to act as the National Chairman of APC following the suspension from office of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal.
“We wish to state that the statement must have been issued in complete ignorance of the order of the FCT High Court issued on 16th of March, 2020, by Hon. Justice S.U Bature in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 to the effect that Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the National Chairman of the party due to the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
“The order was given the same day that the Court of Appeal earlier gave Oshiomhole a temporary respite by staying the execution of the said order suspending Oshiomhole. Now that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the order of suspension, it is only proper that the Order recognizing Chief Victor Giadom is implemented.
“Consequently, we have written to all law-enforcement agencies to implement the said order and any one who attempts to parade himself/herself other than Chief Victor Giadom as the Acting Chairman of the APC would be facing contempt of court proceedings.
“Kindly find attached the said Court Order.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the fact that Ajimobi, who is right now critically ill in the hospital, battling a serious COVID-19 infection that has made doctors put him on the ventilator for close to two weeks might not be able to take up the responsibility for now, a party source said the party will look further into the hierarchical structure and pick the next person in line.
Oshiomhole’s problem started from home in Edo State, when he was suspended as a member of the party by his ward, a fallout of his battle with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The suspension was upheld at all levels, up to the state level. Oshiomhole did not challenge the action.
This made Justice Senchi to observe that it was wrong of the APC to have kept Oshiomhole as chairman after he was suspended by his state chapter of the party.
On March 4, Justice Danlami Senchi, a judge of the FCT High Court in Abuja, ordered the interim suspension of Oshiomhole as national chairman.
Later, one Afolabi approached the court to get a court backing for the suspension.
Giadom, the deputy national secretary took over the running of the party.
Since then, the APC had filled all its vacant executive positions and appointed a substantive national secretary and vice chairman.
Oshiomhole will now need to go back to the high court to defend the substantive suit.
”Oshiomhole will remain suspended pending the determination of the suit”, the judge had ruled in March.