APC rejects court order on Ganduje’s suspension

Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has insisted that he remains the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a viral video, Ganduje was seen amidst a host of party supporters who paid him a solidarity visit saying he had met with President Bola Tinubu, and he (Tinubu) had guaranteed his position as the party chairman.

He spoke against the backdrop of a ruling by a Kano State High Court presided over by Usman Na’abba which affirmed the suspension slammed on him by the Ganduje ward. The court ordered him to stop parading himself as a member of the party.

The order followed an ex parte motion filed by Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of APC in Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area namely the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and the Legal Advisor, Halladu Gwanjo, who were part of the ward executive members that suspended former governor two days ago.

The court directed the respondents, namely the APC, National Working Committee (NWC), Kano State Working Committee (KSWC), and Ganduje, to maintain status quo ante belum as from April 15, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

“An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (1st), NWC (2nd), KSWC (3rd), and Ganduje (4th), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

“The order thereby restraining the 1st respondent (APC) from recognising the 4th respondent (Ganduje) as member of APC and prohibiting the 4th respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state working committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of executive of Ganduje ward.

“That the 4th respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as a member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Some members of the Ganduje ward had, on Monday, suspended him over allegations of corruption slammed on him by the state government.

The nine APC executive members said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of APC from the national chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of Ganduje ward failed to act on the petition filed since April 8, 2024, nine members of the executive, led by the legal advisor had acted upon the petition, suspending the national chairman.

But speaking to 27 party members from his ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area and other stakeholders of the party who paid him a solidarity visit, yesterday, Ganduje accused the NNPP and the governor of Kano State of being behind the plot to destroy APC.

“Your complaint was that you have disassociated yourselves from that false claim (suspension) and in addition, you have appealed that we take appropriate legal action according to the rule of law. This is very vital.

“When we first heard the news, we knew it was not true. But we had to exercise patience to affirm those behind it. After a formal investigation, it was found that those who met with officials of Kano State government were not executive members either at the ward, state or even members of our party.

“These lies are peddled by the NNPP and the governor of Kano State in order to destroy our party because they are so concerned that during their first year in office, the people have seen the destruction of the economy of Kano down to the increase in political violence and also the destruction of political morality.

“With all these put together, they have started seeing the failure of their party. They are more concerned that we might take over the government from their party in 2027. They are also concerned that we produced the second highest votes for President Bola Tinubu.

“They are so afraid we might produce far higher votes that can make the president retain his seat. So, we know their motive is to create confusion so that we will not have the courage to take over the government again and also to ensure President Tinubu does not have the intimidation votes of that kind from Kano State again.

“We will tell them their intention is impossible. That intention will fail. We will show them that our platform in Kano State is rock solid and it is getting ready to give Mr. President very high votes, even the highest.”

He added: “Yesterday (Tuesday), I met with the president and I explained to him and he said he is also thankful for what you did. What was done (suspension) is shambolic. He said you should be patient enough. This seat they are looking up to still stands unshakeable.

“Tell Kano State Government that the seat of national chairman of APC in Nigeria is Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. We are here unshakable.”

Ganduje spoke as the national leadership of the party described the court order as fraudulent and vowed not to honour it.

Interestingly, the national secretariat of the ruling party was practically a theatre of action yesterday as the ward and local government executives, other stakeholders of the party’s state chapter and pro-Ganduje protesters, took time to pledge their loyalty to the embattled party’s national chairman, over the purported suspension.

The protesters, numbering hundreds and brandishing posters with various inscriptions barricaded the Blantyre Street, housing the party’s national headquarters, for hours, and disrupted human and vehicular traffic.

Addressing newsmen with the “visitors”, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Abdulkarim Kana, warned that the position of the party’s boss was not under any form of threat, stressing that the party would not obey any court order obtained through fraudulent means.

“We all saw the visit of the ward and local government officials to the party chairman today. They are ordinarily the people that should be involved in the trending issues of the purported suspension. We all got information that certain persons suspended the chairman.

“We immediately filed a complaint to the police and we have copies of it served to the Inspector General of Police, urging them to investigate the individuals behind it, especially as all the major stakeholders have all shown up to disassociate themselves from the action. They did not only distance themselves from the action but also disowned it.

“We don’t know where all these things are coming from. Our preliminary investigation showed that it was a fraud and a typical 419 situation. Unfortunately, they went too far in raising fraudulent documents and circulating it.

“We are also hearing this afternoon, we are yet to see any court order, that they have also used the same fraudulent document to obtain an order of the court, which we have heard but not seen yet. Whatever kind of order that might emanate from such a document will also be an order obtained by fraud.

“All of us know that whatever order obtained by fraud is an unlawful order and we are not going to recognise, respect or obey it. The individuals behind it are not from the APC. We don’t know them and that remains our position.

“In addition to the complaint we have made to the police, the Ganduje ward executive will visit the National Judicial Council to submit the petition against the judge that gave the order.”

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