The thick cloud of uncertainty surrounding the March 26th national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to be getting thicker by the day, mounting pressure on the stakeholders of the party to rework a new date that will guarantees a hitch-free convention
Information reaching us from the FCT High Court, Abuja has it that the claimant in the case instituted against the APC, CECPC and his lawyers have approached the court to commit Gov. Mai Mallam Buni and every member of the CECPC to prison for violating the Court Order stopping the Convention.
The claimant informed the court that the mere inauguration of sub-committees for the March 26 National Convention when the order of the honourable court is in force is a demonstration of the APC’s disdain for the rule of law in the country.
Whilst 30th March was fixed for the continuation of hearing, no date has been fixed for the commencement of contempt proceedings against the APC.
The claimant also commended INEC for standing by the provisions of the law and the order of the court which is still in force.
Recall that the electoral umpire, INEC, had yesterday, 11/03/2022/ written to the APC, insisting that the commission does not recognize Abu Bello’s leadership, and also informed the APC that it has not performed one of the requisite requirements for a valid NEC meeting or National Convention.
In the letter signed by Rose Onaran Anthony, Secretary to the Commission, the attention of the APC was drawn to section 82(1) of the electoral act which provides, “Every registered political party shall give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice ofany convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of “merger” and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act”.
The implication of the above provision is that the APC will have to send a fresh letter of 21 Days notification to INEC the moment the Court Order is vacated in order to hold its national convention.
Our source at INEC also hinted our correspondent that the Commission remains one of the most law abiding body and will not do anything to jeopardize the interest of Justice in the land.
Senior lawyers who spoke to our correspondent also highlighted that the inability of APC to vacate the court order and send the 21days notice in fulfillment of the requisite constitutional requirements will render the party’s March 26 national convention invalid in the eyes of the law. It was also noted that the party leadership risked imprisonment for contempt of court when they went ahead with convention plans against a subsisting court order restraining the party from doing so.
Some of the senior lawyers have also advised the APC to postpone the National Convention indefinitely and focus on the forthcoming primaries so as to produce candidates for the 2023 General Elections.