Senator Abiola Ajimobi has been named as acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party made the move following affirmation of the suspension of National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by an Appeal Court.
The former governor of Oyo State has functioned as the National Deputy Chairman South of the party.
This is coming less than 24 hours after news broke that Ajimobi who has COVID-19 is battling to stay alive, hooked on the ventilator at the First Cardiology Consultants Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to a statement by APC’s Publicity Secretary Lanre Issa-Onilu said the elevation was in line with the constitution of the party.
“Guided by advice from the Party’s legal department in line with the provisions of Section 14.2. (iii) of the Party’s constitution, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Sen. Abiola Ajimobi will serve as the Party’s Acting National Chairman.
“According to Section 14.2. (iii), of the APC constitution, the Deputy National Chairman, North/South “Shall act as the National Chairman in the absence of the National Chairman from his zone”, the NWC stated.
The appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court which in March ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole and also ordered him to stop 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 trial court had territorial jurisdiction to have entertained the suit as it did.
The court also withdrew Oshiomhole’s rights and privileges as national chairman of the party including his security details.
The appellate court predicated its decision on the ground that Oshiomhole as the first appellant is based in Abuja while the APC also has its national headquarters in Abuja.
In the judgment in the second appeal delivered by Justice Mohammed Lamido, the court held that there was no basis for the two appellants to hold that they were denied fair hearing during proceedings at the trial court.
It further held that the suspension of Oshiomhole from ward 10 of Etsako local government of Edo was ratified at the ward, local government and state level as required by law.
“The identities of those who suspended Oshiomhole were not in doubt because in their unchallenged affidavits, they made it clear that they were party members and officers of the party. Therefore, the appeal lacks merit,” Lamido said.
In the two dismissed appeals Oshiomhole and the APC were the appellants.
On March 4, Justice Danlami Senchi, a judge of the FCT High Court in Abuja, ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as national chairman pending the determination of a suit filed by one Oluwale Afolabi.
Senchi said it was wrong of the APC to have kept Oshiomhole as chairman after he was suspended by the Edo chapter of the party.
But Oshiomhole approached the court of appeal seeking a stay of execution of the judgement.
Oshiomhole’s problem started from home in Edo State, when he was suspended as a member of the party by his ward, a fallout of his battle with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The suspension was upheld at all levels, up to the state level. Oshiomhole did not challenge the action.
This made Justice Senchi to observe that it was wrong of the APC to have kept Oshiomhole as chairman after he was suspended by his state chapter of the party.
Later, a plantiff approached the court to get a court backing for the suspension.
This led to the March 4 ruling that threw Oshiomhole out of his chair as APC chief executive.