From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Supreme Court has upheld the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led factional leadership of the Kano State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC).
In doing so, the apex court dismissed the appeal lodged by the faction of the party loyal to a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau.
The Kano state chapter of the APC has splits into two factions in a leadership crisis that has rocked the ruling party.
While Ganduje’s faction produced Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman, the Shekarau led faction on the other hand elected Haruna Danzago to the same position.
In a unanimous judgment on Friday, Justice Inyang Okoro, dismissed the appeal against the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja for lacking in merit.
The Court of Appeal had, in February, dismissed three appeals bordering on the subject matter on the grounds that the originating summons wrongly commenced in Abuja.
It went on to hold that the matter was an internal affair of the APC.
The appeals were a product of two rulings of an FCT High Court which upheld the ward and local government congresses won by the faction loyal to Shekarau and Senator Jibril Barau (Kano North), numbering about 17,908 and 1,319 members, respectively.
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The court had voided the congresses upon a suit filed by former governor Ibrahim Shekarau, now a Senator representing.
The two factions had held parallel congresses and produced two sets of state executives on October 18, 2021.
The national leadership of the party had recognised the congresses of the Ganduje group, leading to the other faction heading to the court.
On November 30, the lower court declared the congress conducted by the plaintiffs as valid and the officials it produced as the duly elected leaders of the APC in the state.
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It similarly, on December 17, affirmed its decision by rejecting a motion filed by the Ganduje faction asking the court to stay execution and set aside the judgment.
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The judge, Hamza Muazu, further imposed a fine of N1 million against the plaintiffs for filing “a frivolous and time-wasting motion” by asking the court to set aside its judgment and stay the execution on the local government congresses.
The Ganduje faction had filed the motions following their appeal regarding the matter. They subsequently transmitted the records of appeal to the Court of Appeal, a crucial procedural step that sets the stage for the hearing of the appeal.
The judge, Mr Muazu, struck out the applications because he had lost jurisdiction to hear the case after the records of appeal were transmitted to the Court of Appeal.
In its judgment, the appeal court ruled in favour of the Ganduje faction. It said the lower court had no jurisdiction as only the leadership of a political party can resolve disputes arising from its internal affairs, in line with the constitution of the party.