Victor Giadom, the deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress, who seized control of the party today, has cancelled the screening for the Edo State governorship primary.
His action may have put the party’s plans for a 22 June direct primary asunder.
The party’s screening notably disqualified the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki from participating.
Obaseki on Tuesday announced his resignation from APC as he was set to join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
He indicated he may reverse himself, now that Giadom appears to have given him a lifeline.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, he said he has not left the APC.
He added that his main focus is to control the spread of COVID-19 ravaging the country and not the governorship election slated for September in his state.
He said: “I have not moved to a new platform yet to seek re-election.
“My focus now is to control the spread of the coronavirus (#COVID19) pandemic, which is ravaging our country and threatening our healthcare system.”
Giadom explained that he has taken over the party based on a previous court order empowering him to do so.
According to him, he has the backing of the members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The APC had announced ailing Abiola Ajimobi, the national deputy chairman, as acting chairman, based on the party’s constitution.
But the snag was that Ajimobi is not available to flex any muscle, as he is bedridden.
Ajimobi is hospitalised in Lagos for a serious COVID-19 illness.
Giadom’s lawyer Wole Afolabi, said Giadom becomes the acting national chairman, following the upholding of an earlier High Court order by the Appeal Court on Tuesday.
The order cited was not the one given by Justice Danlami Senchi on 4 March, but a consequent one given by Justice S.U. Bature on 10 March.
Bature specifically ruled that “Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the National Chairman.”
The implication of the Appeal Court judgment on Tuesday, according lawyers, is that all the actions taken by Oshiomhole after March became a nullity.
And this would include the emergence of Ajimobi, as deputy chairman and Waziri Bulama, as acting national secretary.
Both filled vacant positions.
Ajimobi replaced Adeniyi Adebayo, who is now minister of industries.
Bulama replaced Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, who is now governor of Yobe.
A statement issued by Afolabi, justifying Giadom as acting national chairman read:
“COURT RECOGNIZES VICTOR GIADOM AS ACTING NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF APC
Our attention has been drawn to a Statement purportedly issued by the Publicity Secretary of the APC to the effect that Senator Abiola Ajumobi is to act as the National Chairman of APC following the suspension from office of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Court of Appeal.
We wish to state that the statement must have been issued in complete ignorance of the order of the FCT High Court issued on 16th of March, 2020, by Hon. Justice S.U Bature in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/6447/2020 to the effect that Chief Victor Giadom is to act as the National Chairman of the party due to the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.
The order was given the same day that the Court of Appeal earlier gave Oshiomhole a temporary respite by staying the execution of the said order suspending Oshiomhole. Now that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the order of suspension, it is only proper that the Order recognizing Chief Victor Giadom is implemented.
Consequently, we have written to all law-enforcement agencies to implement the said order and any one who attempts to parade himself/herself other than Chief Victor Giadom as the Acting Chairman of the APC would be facing contempt of court proceedings.