Written by Kunle Oderemi
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice A.F.A Ademola, on Wednesday, cleared the way for the National Convention of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) slated for Saturday, in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State.
The court dismissed a case filed by some former senators and House of Representatives members from Katsina State against the party seeking to nullify the CPC national convention held in the Eagle Square, Abuja in January 2011 that produced the present national officers of the party.
A statement by CPC National Publicity Secretary, Mr Rotimi Fasakin, recalled that in the suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/302/2012, Honourables Mohammad Tukur Sada, Aminu shiru; Murtala Isah; Umar Dankama Abdu; Umar Adam Katsayal; and Alhaji Ahmad Zago Haruna, Dr Yusha U Armayu and Alhaji Shehu Ningi Barau as plaintiffs had sued the party, the National Chairman, Prince Tony Momoh; Alhaji Sule Hamma; Mr Buba Galadima and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking to nullify the outcome of the convention.
In his judgment, Justice Ademola upheld the objection filed by the CPC and three of its principal officers who were among the defendants, saying from the totality of the evidence before the court based on the reliefs contained in their originating summons, the plaintiffs woefully failed to show that they have locus standi to file the case.
He held that the plaintiffs failed to show that they were candidates in the election to elect members of the CPC National Executive Committee during the said convention.
Justice Ademola also held that the suit was statute-barred because the letter written by the INEC dated January 11, 2011 on which the plaintiffs premised their case established that the cause of action arose on January 12, 2011 but that the plaintiffs filed their case more than one year after the cause of action arose.
The judge noted that by virtue of Section 2 (1) of the Public Officers Protection Act, 2004, the case was statute-barred and therefore dismissed the case and awarded a cost of N10,000 each against all the plaintiffs in favour of the defendants.
The plaintiffs had also sought other reliefs such as: an order of the court that the national convention of the first defendant (CPC) held between January 4 and 6, 2011 contravened Article 27 (i) (j) and (k) and Article 27 (c) (i) of the CPC Constitution and should be declared null and void and no effect; that the second, third and fourth defendants (Tony Momoh; Alhaji Sule Hamma; Mr Buba Galadima) elected at the convention were not validly elected and their said election be declared null and void, and that the second and fourth defendants be restrained from functioning and parading themselves as the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party.