As far as 15 members the National Working Committee(NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are concerned, Senator Abiola Ajimobi is the party’s acting National Chairman.
But the National Vice Chairman (South-South), Chief Hilliard Eta, is to act in Ajimobi’s stead for now.
Ajimobi was announced by the National Working Committee after the sacking of Oshiomhole by a court on Tuesday. But the Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, relying on an interim order he got last March insisted, just before the 15 NWC members met on Wednesday, that he is the valid acting National Chairman.
But his colleagues after their meeting said he ceased to be a member of the NWC, having resigned to contest last year’s gubernatorial election as Deputy Governor in Cross River State.
Rising from its 45th emergency meeting, 15 of 21 NWC members affirmed the leadership of Ajimobi, believed to be indisposed, as Oshiomhole’s replacement.
National Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Hilliard Eta, elected to preside over the emergency meeting, also announced the seven- man Edo State Governorship Election Panel to conduct the June 22 primary, headed by Governor Hope Uzodima of Imo State. Senator Ajibola Bashiru is panel secretary.
Recall that the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Tuesday affirmed the suspension of Mr Oshiomole as a member and National Chairman of the ruling party.
The appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court which in March 2020 ordered the suspension of Oshiomole as well as parading himself as the national chairman of the party.
In a unanimous judgment in the first appeal delivered by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the court held that the FCT high court had territorial jurisdiction to have entertained the suit as it did.
The court also upheld the withdrawal of his rights and privileges as national chairman of the party including his security details by Police and State Security Service.
The appellate predicated its decision on the ground that Oshiomole as the first appellant is based in Abuja while the APC also had its national headquarters in Abuja.
In the judgment on the second appeal delivered by Justice Mohammed lLamido, the court disagreed with Oshiomhole that their right to fair hearing was breached.
Justice Lamido further said that there was no basis for the two appellants to hold that they were denied fair hearing during proceedings at the high court.
The court also held that the suspension of Oshiomhole from Ward 10 of Etsako local government area of Edo state was ratified at the ward, local government and state levels as required by law.
Besides, the court agreed that identities of those who suspended Oshiomhole were not in doubt because in their unchallenged affidavit, they made it clear that they were party members and officers of the party.
In the final analysis, the court said that the appeal lacked merit and was subsequently dismissed.
Director General of the government-owned Voice of Nigeria VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu, lauded the decision of the Court of Appeal affirming the suspension of Oshiomhole.
Saying that Oshiomhole’s Daniel has come to judgment, the APC chieftain remarked that Oshiomhole’s ordeal was good riddance to bad rubbish. “One is vindicated, as I had maintained that Comrade Adams was no more a valid chairman of our great party,” he said.
“That out of narcissism he glossed over his valid suspension by his ward executive and with culture of impunity failed to adhere to the provisions of APC Constitution.
“A man who lost his ward, LGA and State Exco has no reason to remain chairman.
“The good thing is that his suspension will afford a golden opportunity for the leadership of our party to overhaul and reposition our great party along the core progressive tenets, as we enshrined during merger in our constitution.
“Let’s be frank, and do a careful review of Adams stewardship and take our party as a company in stock market. As MD of APC Plc and taking states controlled in 2019 as stocks, did Adams pass or fail? He failed woefully”, the VON DG said.