Lagos APC Crisis: Banire’s Camp Loses Again
The crisis between the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and some members of the party over allegation of imposition of candidates on party members during elections is far from over.
The latest development in the strained intra-party relationship is that the faction loyal to the party’s National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire wants to stop the party’s delegates from the state from participating in Saturday’s National Convention in Abuja.
The delegates, who are elected members and principal officers of the party from the local government and state levels belong to the Tinubu faction.
They emerged during the state congress held last month.
Although, the Banire faction also organized its own congress, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) decided to recognise the faction loyal to Tinubu.
That decision did not go down well with the Banire faction. After serious and bitter complaints, the faction decided to approach the court to seek redress.
In one of the suits, the faction is praying the court to stop delegates from the state from taking part in Saturday’s convention.
But in another crushing blow for the faction, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja declined to grant the application from the camp seeking for an injunction to stop the Lagos delegates and other elected executives from attending the convention.
Presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako said it would be unfair to do so since the other parties were not joined in the case.
One Bunmi Church, a known ally of Banire, claiming to be an aspirant for APC Chairmanship in Mushin Local Government Area, had approached the court for an injunction to stop the Lagos delegates.
Church claimed he was denied participation in the LGA Congress.
In the ruling, Justice Nyako posed two issues for determination - whether having not participated, the plaintiff can challenge the results of the Ward and Local Government Congresses held in Lagos, and whether in the absence of all interested parties the court can make an order that will affect them.
Citing the case of NEC Versus Nwogwu 1993 2nd Nigeria Weekly Law Report, the judge held that it would be premature to grant the application because all the parties that would be affected have not been brought to court.
Nyako held: “This application fails and cannot be granted because all the parties that will be affected have not been brought to court.”
A date will be picked later for the hearing of the substantive case.
One of the outspoken leaders of the Banire Camp, Fuad Oki, who was earlier sighted in court, immediately disappeared as he sensed the direction the verdict was going.
Reacting to the judgement, Chairman of the Lagos APC, Tunde Balogun expressed joy at the verdict.
Balogun said an applicant who was not known to the party was seeking to drag the majority of APC leadership and membership in the state down based on a framed-up excuse.
According to him, “The event of today in Abuja really exposed a lot of things and very soon the whole world would know who is trying to destroy our party, not only in Lagos but in the country.”
The court decision has left Tinubu with the full grip of Lagos politics and barring any circumstances between now and 2019, the possibility of him deciding who becomes the next governor of the state for the fourth time is not in doubt.