Less than 24 hours to the scheduled emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Monday adjourned indefinitely, the hearing of the appeal filed by national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to challenge his suspension from office as ordered by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, on March 4.
The appellate court had fixed Monday for the hearing of the appeal but adjourned till no particular date due to unavailability of a panel.
Oshiomhole’s case was listed as part of appeals scheduled for hearing at the Monday’s sitting of the court.
But a three-man panel led by Justice Stephen Adah, which only heard two of the listed cases and later announced to the packed courtroom that the rest of the cases including Oshiomhole’s would be heard by another panel.
It was however to the disappointment of many APC supporters, including Oshiomhole, when an official of the court later announced that a new date would be fixed for the hearing of the appeal. He said the new date would be communicated to the parties in the case.
Oshiomhole, who had arrived the courtroom at about 8am for the hearing scheduled to take place at 9am, later told journalists while departing that he would exercise patience for a new date to be fixed for the hearing.
Justice Danlami Senchi of the FCT High Court had on March 4 issued the interlocutory injunction for Oshiomhole’s suspension on the grounds that the party wrongfully continued to retain him as its National Chairman while he was under suspension as a member of the party in his ward branch of the party in Edo State.
The judge held that the party wrongfully continues to retain Oshiomhole as its National Chairman while he is under suspension as a member of the party.
He, therefore, ordered Oshiomhole to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the party, and directed the party to cease acknowledging him in that regard.
The judge also ordered the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to mobilise its operatives to prevent him from accessing his office at the party’s secretariat.
The suit was instituted by six applicants, including the Vice-Chairman of the party, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, and the Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua.
The rest of the applicants are, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Oshawo Steven, Fani Wabulari, and Princewill Ejogharado.
Oshiomhole had filed four grounds of appeal at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, praying for an order setting aside the interlocutory injunction issued by the FCT High Court.
He filed the appeal shortly after the order was issued on March 4.
In the notice of appeal filed in his name and that of APC, the appellants contended that the judge “arrived at a wrong conclusion” in his ruling and it “occasioned a miscarriage of justice”.
The appellants also argued through his lawyer, Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), that the judge in his ruling prejudged the substantive case by erroneously delving into the issue of his performance of the duty of his office as the National Chairman of the party at the preliminary stage.