The face-off in the All Progressives Congress (APC) continued Tuesday with the police sealing off the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The development caused some moments of panic among journalists as well as the National Working Committee (NWC) members who were denied entrance into the premises.
The security personnel said they were detailed to protect the lives and property within the secretariat and its vicinity.
It was however unsealed at about 3.00pm after which normal activities resumed.
Call for NEC meeting?
As the drama was unfolding, a factional acting national chairman, Mr. Victor Giadom, announced to journalists of his plan to call a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) to be held at the Presidential Villa Abuja Thursday.
The meeting, he claimed, was at the instance of President Muhammad Buhari.
Although the Eta-led faction claimed a court order was given Tuesday suspending Giadom from the party, the factional chair however remained defiant, insisting he’s equally armed with a court order upholding his choice as the party’s acting national chairman.
But in a reaction, the Prince Eta Hilliard-led National Working Committee (NWC) faction told Blueprint that Giadom had ceased being a member of the party.
In a notice of the meeting signed by Giadom, a copy our correspondent received, the factional chairman said he was reconvening the NEC meeting earlier billed to hold on the 17th of March, 2020, but was postponed.
The notice of the meeting read: “I, Chief Victor Giadom, having been duly authorised by Court Order to Act as National Chairman of our great party and to preside over all meetings of the NWC and NEC hereby and with the consent of the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR (who is the leader of our Party) reconvene the NEC meeting that was earlier billed to hold on the 17th of March, 2020, but was postponed. The reconvened meeting shall hold on Thursday, June 25th, 2020.
“However, in keeping strictly to the COVID-19 guidelines, the postponed NEC shall proceed by virtual means. The codes would be sent by text to the phone numbers of all NEC members. Those to be physically present at the State House, Abuja, would also be communicated.”
When asked to respond to the development, the Eta-led faction said: “If Victor Giadom is arranging a NEC meeting, I believe that it is your responsibility as a member of the fourth estate of the realm to investigate his locus to find out whether he has the legal, the constitutional backing to be able to call a NEC meeting.
“As we speak, the membership of Chief Victor Giadom has been suspended by a competent court of jurisdiction in Port Harcourt this afternoon. Not only is he not a member of the NWC from today, his membership of the APC has been suspended. So, when you call him factional acting chairman, we wonder why.
“Article 25B (i and ii) of the APC Constitution (2014 as amended) states; “The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.
“Without prejudice to Article 25(B) (i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.”
When his group was described as a faction, the angry Eta said: “It is not right to refer to 17 members, with 15 of them physically present and two who met with us physically as a faction. This is the National Working Committee NWC of the APC in Nigeria.”