The All Progressive Congress (APC) Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, declared himself as the legitimate acting party chairman following the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole by the Appeal Court, got a court order affirming his claim.
In the latest development, the High Court sitting in Abuja has directed that Giadom should preside over APC affairs in the interim pending determination of the substantive suit.
However, a pro-Oshiomhole faction led by Sen. Abiola Ajimobi has commenced consultation with major stakeholders in the South-South with the aim of upturning Giadom’s seat and relegate him back to where he belongs, the Deputy National Secretary.
The team also went ahead to inaugurate its primary and appeal committee for the Edo state governorship election.
The leadership tussle in the ruling party started when the Appeal Court suspended, Adams Oshiomhole through upholding the decision of the High court that was earlier meted on the embattled national party chairman.
Punch reported that on Tuesday night, a meeting was held by the National Working Committee of the APC where Ajimobi who is receiving treatment in one Hospital in Lagos was appointed to act as the national chairman.
Subsequently, Giadom opposed to that by declaring himself as the legitimate candidate for the post citing the High Court Judgement in March 2020.
Some hours later, 15 NWC members led by, the South-South, Hilliard Eta, kicked against Giadom's claim and pledged their allegiance to Ajimobi as the acting national chairman.
However, on Thursday, the High Court of the FCT extended its March order, which gives Giadom the go-ahead as the acting chairman.
Though, the order allowing Giadom to act was for fourteen days.
Meanwhile, Justice Samira Bature had, on 16th March 2020 in an ex-parte motion filed by the National Vice Chairman (North-east) Mustapha Salihu ordered Giadom to act as the party chair.
The plaintiff counsel, Wole Afolabi, on Thursday applied to the court for an extension of the interim order.
The Judge granted a two weeks extension to that effect making it a one-month acting capacity, the Judge cited rule 3 of the COVID-19 practice Direction of the FCT High court.
The order read, “Consequent and in line with Rule 3 of the COVID-19 Practice Direction of the FCT High Court, 2020, the order of this court made on the 16th day of March 2020 is hereby extended for a period of two (2) weeks.
The court also granted Salihu to also act as the National Secretary pending the termination of the substantive suit.
Joined as defendants in the motion marked FCT/HC/M/6447/2020, are the Legal Adviser of the party, Babatunde Ogala; the National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu; the National Secretary, Waziri Bulama and the party, and the APC itself.
Salihu in his submission sought an order that would allow Giadom to act as the National party chair and to also preside over meetings as the party NEC.
He further demanded that the interim order should include restraining the APC and its officers acting in whatever capacity from preventing or in any way distracting Giadom in discharging his assignment.
Yesterday, the Lawyer to Giadom, Barrister Afolabi while arguing on Channels Television program, politics today, in Abuja revealed that by virtue of the latest order from the High court Giadom was the legitimate acting party chair.
Afolabi declared, “As of today, Victor Giadom is the Acting National Chairman until a national convention is held.”
However, the APC national legal adviser revealed none of these orders was served to the party.
He made this statement on Channel television on a program politics today, therefore he said it is only him, the legal adviser has the power to coordinates things for the party since he was not served with any court order.
However, there was a rift in Giadom faction as his ally Salihu, distant himself from the fresh order directing him to take over as the national secretary of the party.
He disclosed to reporters that he cannot be a party to the suit because he convened the virtual Zonal Executive meeting where the appointment of Waziri Bulama was affirmed as the National Secretary of the party.
In his statement, “My zone, the North -East has already nominated Waziri Bulama in the presence of the Senate president, the APC governors from the zone and other party stakeholders as the acting national secretary.
I was at the meeting where this decision was reached.
So why now would I go back to obtain a court order to act as a national secretary?
“I was not part of such shenanigans.
It is not in my character to play such dirty politics and I condemn in strong terms those behind the act.
At a time like this when the party is going through trying times, it is such a time that all lovers of the party must come together to keep the party running.”
Meanwhile, there is a fresh move by the Ajimobi-led NWC who called on the south-south geopolitical zone to nominate a replacement for Giadom.