BEVERLY HILLS, February 23, (THEWILL) – A fresh crisis is rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a group, the Conscience Group, has called for the sack of the party’s interim chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, as well the interim executives of the party.
The group has therefore approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja praying for the sack of Akande and the party’s executives.
The group said the party’s constitution empowered the present executive council members to act in the interim for six months after which substantive executives should be put in place by a congress.
Listed as plaintiffs in the case which comes up on Tuesday before Justice Abdul Kafarati are the duo of Chief Iheke Solomon and Chief Nnamdi Olebara who sued for themselves and on behalf of the Conscience Group.
They submitted that the six months period provided by the Constitution elapsed on January 31, 2013 , therefore all the interim executives officers should have vacated the office.
Joined as first to fourth respondents are APC, Chief Bisi Akande, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah (as representatives of the national executive committee) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The plaintiffs through their counsel, Iheke Solomon, are asking the court to restrain Akande and Tumsah from managing or running the affairs of the party.
They are also praying for an order directing INEC not to recognise or entertain any official dealing with the Akande-led executive members.
They maintained that the tenure of six months granted the second and third respondents by the constitution of the party expired on Friday, January 31 counted from the August 2013 when the second and third respondents assumed interim management of the affairs of the party.
They said that the second and third respondents created positions and offices that are unknown by the constitution of the party and conferred the said positions, designations and offices to persons selected by them to their interest to the disadvantage unjustly of the plaintiffs.
They further argued that the second and third respondents, with intent to enlarge their tenure and to serve the selfish interest of their paymasters to the detriment of the plaintiffs, willfully and fraudulently altered, exercised and substituted the original and authentic provisions of the original and authentic constitution of the party produced and adopted by the Joint Merger Committee hoping that no one would discover the alleged fraud.
The plaintiffs alleged that the second and third respondents were manipulating things to suppress the challenge their acts of impunity.
In the particulars of fraud which the plaintiffs attached to the application, they alleged that both the second and the third respondents fearful of loss of power at the expiration of their tenure on January 31 declared the original and authentic constitution produced by the joint merger committee that spelt out the transition tenure as different from the one filed at the registry of INEC.
They further alleged that the second and third respondents, hoping to extend their tenure by stealth planted a doctored copy of what was purported to be the original and authentic constitution and then rushed to INEC on Thursday, December 19, 2013, through a sleigh and subterfuge purportedly to obtain a certified true copy of that date of the purported original and authentic constitutional document that was supposedly submitted to INEC at the time of the application for registration of the party.
The plaintiffs also alleged that the second and third defendants had posted the party’s manifesto on the official website of the party but stated ‘coming soon’ on the column for the party’s constitution .
They further submitted that the second and third respondents had been running the affairs of the party with their whim and caprice, without the fundamental constitutional document of the party since they (second and third respondents) only obtained from INEC the certified true copy of the constitution as recently as Thursday, December 19, 2013.
The plaintiffs are therefore praying the court for an order perpetual injunction restraining the second and third respondents from managing or running the affairs of the party on ground that their tenure ended on Friday, January 31.
They also want an order of the court directing the Board of Trustees of the party to convene the National Convention and to constitute the convention committee to conduct congresses for the selection of substantive party officers at all levels in accordance with the party constitution.
The Conscience Group further prayed the court to direct INEC to recognise the constitution produced and adopted by the joint merger committee of the merger parties as the authentic, valid and subsisting constitution of the party.
The plaintiffs in addition want the court to direct INEC not to recognise or entertain any official dealings with the second and third respondents or any member of the interim national executive committee as presently constituted, as the tenure of the interim body has lapsed on Friday, January 31.
They also want the court to direct the second and third respondents to give a comprehensive written statement of account of all the income and expenditure of the party for the period they have occupied the office.