By Jude Opara, Abuja.
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) is far from over as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party says it would investigate the authority of its member who authorized the statement released last Wednesday, admitting the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and two others into the NWC.
National Vice Chairman, Comrade Salihu Mustapha, has vowed that whoever that is found culpable would be severely punished.
Mustapha, who spoke to journalists in the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, also reacted to the alleged Kano State High Court vacating the suspension of the embattled National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by an Abuja High Court.
He argued that the two courts are Courts of Coordinate jurisdiction, which means that they do not have the power to set aside ruling of each other.
Recall that an Abuja High Court on Wednesday asked Oshiomhole to stop parading himself as the national chairman of the APC. But in a twist yesterday another High Court in Kano ruled that the status quo before the ruling of the Abuja High Court should be maintained.
To this, Mustapha said, “First of all I want be very brief because we have a case in court and I am the plaintiff so it would be subjudice for me. But I want to tell you from my knowledge of law that two courts of coordinate jurisdiction cannot seat on appeal on an order or judgement given by each other.
“A federal high court cannot seat on appeal on FCT high court. The only court that has the jurisdiction to seat on appeal is the Court of Appeal in this case and the court order of the FCT high court was served yesterday.
“Most of you have the copy of the Order and it is an elementary law that first in time prevails. That of Abuja high court came earlier and we seek for interlocutory injunction and there is affidavit of urgency which seeks to prevent certain kinds of mischief which we prayed that the court should help prevent which they did.
“So, if you look at the main reason why that interlocutory injunction is granted I don’t think that a federal high court of the same jurisdiction will now come and set it aside. We don’t need the knowledge of law to know that a high court cannot seat on a matter of appeal on high court.
“So, I don’t want to say much about the order but I want to say that it is only the court of appeal that can vacate this injunction.”
On the statement issued yesterday by the APC National Chairman admitting three National Officers into NWC, he said, “That’s laughable because that one is what amuses me most and it is very pathetic and disturbing because we saw an announcement that purported that we approved nominations of 3 officers on the 14th of January. One of these officers which is the Deputy National Chairman south, the nomination from his state came to the national vice chairman on the 28 of February almost 40 days after the date of the purported meeting. The meeting we held on the 14th January, I came out of the meeting and I told you guys that the meeting was stopped because they were trying to do illegality on the National Secretary’s replacement, the matter of the other people was referred to their zone, nobody discussed at the meeting.
“But seeing that he has been suspended he now have to bring out that information, I don’t think it is a civil matter, I think our lawyers are looking at it because it is a criminal matter
“I am a Working Committee member and I was not in the meeting where the decision to admit these persons as NWC members was made. Where is the minutes of the meeting, where was it held? And how do we approve a nomination that is yet to come, we are not running a banana republic.”