A Federal high court in Abuja, Wednesday, declined to stop the Babatunde Balogun led executive of Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) from participating in the national convention slated for Saturday, June 23 in Abuja.
Justice Binta Nyako, who declined to stop the Balogun led faction, said principle of fair hearing would be breached if the court stopped the group since one person instituted the court action.
Delivering ruling in an ex parte motion, filed by an aggrieved contestant in the May 12 Lagos APC congress, Bunmi Tayo Church, Nyako said it would be unfair to stop the participation of Lagos chapter of the party, in view of the national convention is to be held on June 23, at the Eagle Square.
In declining to grant the ex parte motion, the Judge held that the plaintiff was just one out of 1,085 aspirants who vied for positions during the Congress.
Justice Nyako said that the plaintiff did not help himself in his claims that he was prevented from participating in the state congress, adding that it is trite law that anyone who did not participate in an election cannot challenge the outcome of that election.
The court held that Church, who did not participate in the May 12 APC congress cannot use the ex parte application to challenge the outcome of the congress.
Beside, the court said: “hundreds of others who participated in the congress will be denied fair hearing if the application is granted because they (contestants) were not brought before the court by the applicant, who instituted the action in his personal capacity.
“If the court wave participation in the convention that means all parties involved would have been disinfranchised.
“It is premature to grant the application. It therefore fails because all parties involved have not been brought to the court,” the court held.
As a way out, Justice Nyako ordered that the originating summon filed by the plaintiff through his counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, will be given accelerated hearing.
However, Justice Babatunde Quadri, who read the ruling on behalf of Nyako, who was said to be bereaved, did not give a definite date for hearing of the originating summon, saying Justice Nyako will fix a conviniet date.
The Mrs Uche Ekwunife led State Congress Committee had declared Babatunde Balogun as the Lagos State APC Chairman on May 12 after the election at the party’s secretariat, Lagos.
Recall, a faction led by Fouad Oki, challenged the other faction of the party led by a former Governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, which produced Balogun as Chairman
Oki, until recently a loyalist of Tinubu, was the campaign director for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s 2015 gubernatorial contest.
Oki also acted in that capacity for both Tinubu and former governor Babatunde Fashola.
He had in February, launched the Broom United Movement, a faction of aggrieved party members.
Oki emerged as the Chairman of his faction but the National Working Committee of the party recognised the Tinubu led faction.