President Buhari and the APC governors postponed the NEC meeting of the party on Monday after a session which lasted barely 15 minutes but was marked by raised voices between supporters of Adams Oshiomole and those against him.
After the postponement, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday lifted the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
Before the appellate court nullified Oshiomhole’s suspension, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had postponed indefinitely, the APC National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday (today).
Also on Monday, governors, who were opposed to Oshiomhole, at a meeting in Abuja, engaged in a shouting match with their colleagues supporting him.
But a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Abubakar Yahaya unanimously ordered a stay of execution of the March 4, 2020 order of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, which suspended Oshiomhole from office.
It also restrained the respondents to Oshiomhole’s appeal, including the police and the Department of State Services from continuing to enforce the FCT High Court’s order.
Apart from the police and the DSS, the other respondents restrained by the Court of Appeal were the plaintiffs at the FCT High Court who obtained the order for the suspension of Oshimhole.
They are the Vice-Chairman of the party in the North-East, Mustapha Salihu, and the Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua; Alhaji Sani Gomna, Oshawo Steven, Fani Wabulari, and Princewill Ejogharado.
Oshiomhole, who was in court with a large number of his supporters, was visibly happy after the ruling was delivered on Monday.
The court lifted Oshiomhole’s suspension following an ex parte application for stay of execution of the FCT High Court’s order which was moved by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), on Monday.
Before the orders of the two courts on Monday, the President and the APC governors had postponed the NEC meeting of the party.
They took the decision after a meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The session lasted barely 15 minutes after the governors went behind closed doors with Buhari upon arriving at the State House about 3.06pm.
Findings indicated that disagreements among the governors over the crisis rocking the party, forced the postponement of the NEC meeting, just 24 hours to the date (today).
A source at the meeting said, “There are issues within the party. But we all know that Oshiomhole’s fate is the major one. There is a crack among the governors, though a majority seem to say he should leave, going by their body language and actions.
“The chairman’s camp is hanging in the balance, and also resorting to the judicial process to stop further actions against him,” a source informed the press on Monday.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, the Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, Mr Atiku Bagudu, said the governors went to Buhari to urge him to support the postponement until such a time when the governors were able to resolve the issues in the party.
He added that they would need to hold the NEC meeting as a united front after the governors had addressed all the areas of disagreement.
Bagudu, who is the Governor of Kebbi State, spoke further, “We met with Mr President. Amongst other issues, we discussed about the party in appreciation to Mr President how he has given access to each of us individually and collectively.
“And among the issues we discussed was the resolution the governors had taken to work together to resolve all the issues in the party.
“And also we sought Mr President’s support to postpone the National Executive Council meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow (today) until such a time that the governors are ready to report back.”
When he was asked whether Buhari approved the postponement, Atiku-Bagudu replied that he did.
He added, “Yes, he is so happy that we all agree to that (postponement of the NEC meeting.”
Those who attended the meeting were Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) ;Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Godwin Obaseki (Edo) Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu (Kebbi); Muhammadu Yahaya (Gombe); Babagana Zullum (Borno); Abubakar Bello (Niger); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Babatide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); Aminu Masari (Katsina); and Hope Uzodinma (Imo).
Others were Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa).
The four governors who did not attend the meeting were Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); and Mai Mala-Buni (Yobe).
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