Adams Oshiomhole, the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that he accepts the Appeal Court ruling that upheld his suspension.
In a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel led by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the Court of Appeal affirmed the earlier March 4, 2020 order of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, suspending Oshiomhole and barring him from continuing to parade himself as the national chairman of the party.
Recall that Justice Danlami Senchi of the FCT High Court had on March 4, 2020 suspended Oshiomhole as APC’s national chairman on the grounds that the party wrongfully continued to retain him in office while he was under suspension as a member of the party.
The suit was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants.
Together with the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, and the Department of State Services, the six applicants were the respondents to appeal jointly filed by Oshiomhole and the APC.
The main suit leading to the order earlier suspending Oshiomhole was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants, including the Vice-Chairman of the party, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, and the Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua.
The rest of the applicants are members Oshiomhole’s Ward 10 of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Oshawo Steven, Fani Wabulari, and Princewill Ejogharado.
The plaintiffs are loyalists of the Governor Godwin Obaseki in the state.
The ward executives had in November 2019 suspended the national chairman as a member of the party for anti-party activities, a decision which the FCT High Court anchored the order suspending Oshiomhole on November 2, 2019.
In compliance with the court order the security agencies had promptly taken over the national secretariat of the party in Abuja blocking Oshiomhole from accessing his office.
But Oshiomhole had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), appealed against the court’s interlocutory order.
Following his application for stay of execution of the judgment, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by by Justice Abubakar Yahaya had on March 16, 2020 halted the execution of the judgment by reversing Oshiomhole’s suspension, pending the hearing of his substantive appeal.
But the Justice Onyemanam-led panel, which was appointed to hear the substantive appeal, re-imposed the suspension in its judgment delivered on Tuesday.
The judgment was delivered hours after the hearing was conducted on Tuesday.
Oshiomhole, who was present in court, was represented by Damien Dodo (SAN). He did not grant any interview after the judgment.
Justice Mohammed Lamido, who delivered the lead judgment, said the lower court had rightly issued the order of suspension on March 4, 2020.
He resolved all the issues raised in the appeal against Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole, speaking on Channels TV programmer, “Politics Today”, on Wednesday, said he would speak with his lawyers to decide what next to do.
According to him: “In our democracy, the court is an independent arm of government. When they hand out government, it is not for you to pick and choose whether to obey or not.
“I accept their judgment in good faith. I am a product of the Judiciary.
“My lawyers will now look at the judgement and advise what is the next line action.”
When pressed on if he will head to the Supreme Court, Oshiomhole said: “What I do next will be based on the legal advice I get.”
BreakingTimes reports that the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), earlier today, appointed former Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, as the Acting National Chairman.
However, because of his health issues, APC’s Vice-Chairman (South-South), Prince Hilliard Eta, will act on Ajimobi’s behalf.