APC unsettled as Court affirms suspension Ganduje

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been rattled by the ruling of a Kano State High Court restraining a former governor of the State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, from further parading himself as a member and the national chairman of the party.

The restraining order followed the suspension of Ganduje by executives of the Ganduje Ward in the Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State on Monday.

On that day, the ward’s legal adviser of the APC, Mr Haladu Gwanjo, told journalists in Kano that Ganduje had been suspended.

Gwanjo said the APC ward leadership took the decision in view of the bribery allegations preferred against the former governor.

He made reference to the bribery charges, involving $413,000 and N1.38 billion, filed by the Kano State Government against Ganduje before the Kano State High Court.

Further to the suspension, Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of the ward – the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani and Gwanjo (plaintiffs) – filed an ex parte application, marked K/M658/2024, before Justice Na’Abba, praying that Ganduje be restrained.

The court granted the prayer of the applicants, restraining Ganduje from parading himself as a member of the party and presiding over all the affairs of the national working committee of the APC.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped the Kano State working committee of the APC from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of the executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

“An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

”The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth 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 the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth 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,” the ex parte order read.

The judge adjourned the matter till April 30.

In its reaction, the party described the court’s order as a “judicial breach.”

In the petition dated April 17 and signed by the chairman of Ganduje’s ward and 26 others, the Kano APC appealed to the National Judicial Council (NJC) to evaluate the adherence to judicial guidelines and the constitution in the context of non-interference and political party affairs.

“We, the executive committee members of Ganduje Ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State, write to formally bring to your attention and seek intervention concerning the actions of Hon. Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba, presiding over Court 4 of the High Court of Kano State, in a ruling involving our party, the All Progressives Congress.

“Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba granted an ex parte order suspending Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as a member of the All Progressives Congress and further restrained him from performing his role as the national chairman,” the petitioners wrote.

They claimed that the court’s summons was never served on Ganduje, adding that the decision to intervene in the party’s internal affairs without clear and compelling reasons to circumvent the party’s own mechanisms appears to constitute a judicial breach.

“This action sets a concerning precedent regarding the impartiality and scope of judicial intervention in political party governance.

“In light of the above concerns, we respectfully request the National Judicial Council to: conduct a thorough review of the circumstances and justification behind the decision of Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba to issue such orders against Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and assess potential disciplinary measures if it is found that Honourable Justice Usman Mallam Na‘Abba acted beyond his jurisdiction or displayed conduct unbecoming of a judicial officer.”

Reacting to his suspension, Ganduje said those who orchestrated his suspension are not members of the APC but agents of the ruling New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the state.

Ganduje who addressed his supporters outside the national secretariat of the party in Abuja yesterday

Ganduje who also addressed hundreds of supporters outside the national secretariat of the party in Abuja yesterday said the NNPP was jittery over the rising electoral profile of President Bola Tinubu in the state.

He stated that motive of the architects of his suspension “is to create confusion in our party so that we won’t have the courage and mind to take over the government of Kano and to also ensure that our president does not have intimidating votes from Kano State.”

“There is no doubt controversies will always come up in politics. I am not surprised when such controversies emerge from the grassroots.

“After a fair and critical investigation, it was found that those who met with officials of Kano state government are not executive members of either the ward or local government and they are not even members of our political party.

“I have to appreciate you for showing your concern. In fact, what is happening is an incursion into our political party by the NNPP and the government of Kano State in order to destroy our party because they have seen their failures in their first year in office in terms of the economy and political unrest in the state.

“They are so concerned that we are battle ready to take over the government come 2027. They are so concerned that we got the second highest votes for Mr President and that we will get even higher in order to ensure that 2027 is a walk over.

“Their motive is to create confusion in our party so that we won’t have the courage and mind to take over the government of Kano and to also ensure that our president does not have intimidating votes from Kano State. Their intentions will fail.

“We want to assure Mr President that our party in Kano State is intact. It is solid. It is battle ready in order to give the highest votes to Mr President,” the embattled APC chairman added.