The Supreme Court has upheld Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led factional leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State. The apex court, in a lead judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, yesterday, held that the appeal against the earlier judgments of the Court of Appeal in Abuja lacked merit and as such dismissed.
The appeals followed two rulings of an FCT High Court, which upheld ward and local government congresses won by the faction loyal to a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau and Senator Jibril Barau (Kano North) and numbering 17,908 and 1,319 members, respectively.
A faction of the APC loyal to Shekarau had been in a leadership battle with the Ganduje’s group. While Ganduje’s group produced Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman, Shekarau’s camp elected Haruna Danzago to the same position.
The Court of Appeal had in February, this year, dismissed three appeals that were lodged over the originating summons wrongly commenced in Abuja.It ruled in favour of the Ganduje’s faction and also said the lower court had no jurisdiction as only the leadership of a political party could resolve disputes arising from its internal affairs, in line with its constitution.
The appellate court said the matter was an internal affair of the APC. An Abuja High Court had voided the congresses following a challenge in the suit filed by a group led by Shekarau.
The two factions had held parallel congresses and produced two sets of state executives on October 18, 2021. The national leadership of the party, however, recognised the congresses of the Ganduje group, leading to the other faction heading to the court.
The FCT High Court, on November 30, 2021, 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.
It similarly, on December 17, last year, affirmed its decision by rejecting a motion filed by the Ganduje faction asking the court to stay execution and set aside the judgment.