REVEALED: Why APC can’t hold March 26 national convention

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Contrary to expectations that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would hold its nationwide convention in 2 weeks’ time, emerging truths on Thursday recommended lots of aspects that would stop the exercise.

The Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) had actually set up Saturday, 26th March 2022 for the national convention of the celebration for the function of choosing nationwide officials.

DAILY POST dependably collected on Thursday morning, that, aside from the in-house crisis bedevilling the ruling celebration, there are other legal and technical obstacles standing against the nationwide convention.

Currently, the CECPC Chairman, Gov. Buni has actually been edged out, paving method for the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, to take control of affairs of the celebration at the national secretariat. He has because inaugurated chairmen of various state chapters of the party.

Aside from court matches originating from the conduct of state congresses, DAILY POST gathered that a subsisting court order restraining APC from conducting its national convention has not been abandoned nor appealed.

A Bwari division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in fit number FCT/HC/CV/ 2958/2021, had limited the ruling celebration from holding its convention, till a substantive match has been heard and figured out.

The suit, filed by Hon. Salisu Umoru at the court, had the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Governor Buni, as participants.

“That the 1st Defendant/Respondent can just perform its national convention after the hearing and decision of the substantive match pending before this honourable court,” the court order seen by DAILY POST read.

Justice Bello Kawu, also ruled that “in the interest of justice, accelerated hearing of the substantive suit is hereby purchased.

“That this matter is thus adjourned to the 10th day of January 2022 for hearing of the substantive match at High Court No. 15, Kubwa, FCT-Abuja.”

It was also collected that the court had just recently adjourned a hearing of the substantive matter to March 30, when the party will know its fate on whether to go ahead with its national convention or not.

This development has actually agitated some governors and leaders of the party.

The ramifications of the limited timeframe and this unappealed judgement given by the INEC’s standards would spell doom for the celebration during the 2023 general elections.

With two surviving judgements in respect to Rivers and Zamfara states APC candidateships in the 2019 basic elections, it would now translate to the party not fielding any genuine candidate in any of the general elections in 2023.

Concerned by this advancement and the impending lacuna, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, one of the arrowheads in the engine space of the APC, confirmed that the court order was a waiting disaster against the celebration in 2023.

Speaking on Wednesday in an interview with Channels Television, El-Rufai stated the court order was a “hidden nuclear weapon” developed to destroy the party’s chances in the 2023 general election.

“This court order was obtained in November. A member of the celebration litigated to say that there need to be no convention up until his case against the celebration is gotten rid of, which can take years or months,” El-Rufai said.

The fact stays that, the court order limiting INEC and the APC/CECPC is still in force and legitimate until it is vacated. Since Thursday early morning, 2 weeks to the prepared convention, the order had actually not been vacated.

Another covert aspect that may hamper the conduct of the election was an area in the freshly passed and signed modification to the Electoral Act.

Area 82( 1) of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), reads: “Every signed up political party will offer the Commission at least 21 days’ notification of any Convention, Congress, Conference or Meeting convened for the function of ‘merger’ and electing members of the executive committee, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the optional workplaces specified under this Act”

The simple analysis of this provision suggests that, after the order is vacated, APC/CECPC needs to offer INEC 21 days’ notice that it wishes to carry out a nationwide convention. Today is 10th March, the order still survives, currently making a notice of 21 days for convention difficult.

With INEC having actually published an elections schedule, the APC is now under pressure to fulfill stated timelines, stopping working which it may not be able to field candidates in the 2023 general elections.

Already, the inglorious manner in which Buni was ousted is currently triggering disharmony among the Progressive Governors.