By Akinwale Kasali
The All Progressives Congress, APC, National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, has been given a lifeline and a sigh of relief is in sight as the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed two suits challenging the attempt by party to extend the tenure of Odigie-Oyegun, and those of other officials of the party at the national, state, local government and ward levels.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in two separate judgments, held that the suits had become hypothetical, academic and spent, the party having reversed the decision to extend the officials’ tenures.
He also said he had taken judicial notice of the fact that the party had slated its national convention for May 19.
The judge held that the court does not give judgment “for fancy” but only “addresses live issues.”
But the judge held that had the attempt to extend the tenures matured into reality, it would have been a violation of both the Nigerian and APC’s constitutions.
The party’s National Executive Council had, at its meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 27, 2018, extended the four-year tenure of the party officials due to expire on June 30, 2018, by one year.
A member of the APC in Imo State, Mr. Okere Uzochukwu, filed the first suit on March 2, 2018 and marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/219/2018 to challenge the move.
The second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/237/2018, was filed on March 8, 2018 by four APC members aspiring to run for leadership positions of the party, to challenge the extension of the tenures of the incumbent holders of the executive offices of the party.
President Buhari had, at a later meeting of the NEC, advised against the tenure extension because of possible dire legal consequences it could hold for the party.