Disagreement between two lawyers, on Tuesday, stalled an application by the All Progressives Congress (APC), to vacate an order of the court stopping the party from going ahead with its March 26 national convention.
Justice Bello Kawu of a High Court of of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), had ordered the party not to go ahead with the planned national convention.
During the proceedings on Tuesday, two lawyers, Shuaibu Aruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Michael Adoyi from the Chambers of Musa Yakubu, SAN and Co, announced appearance for both the party and the chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
While Aruwa claimed that he had been briefed by the party to take over the matter from Musa Yakubu, Adoyi, who appeared from the same chambers said his principal has not been debriefed.
Mr Aruwa said, “My Lord, it appears there is a conflict of representation as regards the 1st and 2nd respondents in this matter. We have a copy of a letter of instruction to us in this matter.
”After we were briefed, we filed a notice of change of counsel and we informed counsel in court of the changes and there was no complaint.”
In his response, Adoyi said his chambers has not been debriefed. According to him the case file was still with him.
”We were not served with the hearing notice of this matter today and we did not receive any letter debriefing us. The case file is still with me.
“Mai Mala Buni told my principal that the brief is still extant. We are still in this matter representing the 1st and 2nd respondents,” Adoyi said.
Justice Kawu in his ruling said it was obvious the case won’t go on because of the disagreement over legal representation.
”Having heard from counsels, it appears there is disagreement over who the counsel representing the 1st and 2nd respondents will be.
”I, therefore, order the 1st and 2nd respondents to write to the court who their counsel is. This matter is hereby adjourned to March 17, 2022,” the judge ruled.
Recall that the plaintiff in the matter, Hon. Salisu Umoru, had dragged the party, Governor Buni and INEC before the court to challenge the planned national convention of the ruling party.
In the case with suit number: FCT/HC/CV/2958/2021 and motion number FCT/HC/M/9655/21, the plaintiff prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defedants, allies, agents, representatives, associates or whoever from organising, holding or conducting a national convention of the All Progressives Congress in January and February or at any other date either before or after pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
After listening to counsel in the matter, Justice Kawu granted the order and restrained the party from going ahead with the convention and also warned that the subject matter of the case is now subjudice and must not be tampered with.
The claimant informed the court that the mere inauguration of sub-committees for the March 26 National Convention when the order of the honourable court is in force was a demonstration of disdain for the rule of law in the country.
Recall that the electoral umpire, INEC had last week wrote to the APC, insisting that the commission did not recognise Governor Abu Bello’s leadership of the paerty, and also informed the APC that it has not performed one of the requisite requirements for a valid NEC meeting or National Convention.