Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has denied reports that he ignored presidential directives on the ward congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in a meeting convened in his office to deliberate on the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Ondo governorship election with all the lawyers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet had agreed that the congresses which held last Saturday should be suspended.
However, Malami was said to have rejected the submission of other lawyers and insisted that the congresses must go ahead.
However, in a statement signed by Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, he said the conduct of the congresses was entirely the affairs of the APC and has nothing to do with the minister.
“It is important to put the record straight that congresses and the conduct thereof are a function of a political party and not the Office of the Attorney General.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is not responsible for the implementation of directives relating to party administration as it is rightly known.
“It is, therefore, incongruous and antithetical to common sense to think that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice refusing to obey directives over which he has no legal responsibility to execute. The allegation does not represent the true position of things, please.
“It is a common knowledge that the two eminent personalities are both lawyers, hence could be entitled to their respective opinions within the context of section 39 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that upholds freedom of expression.
“It is a tradition and normal experience in life that lawyers express divergent opinions which in some cases are not rooted in the majority decision of the Supreme Court on speculations and insi.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is not bound by any conclusion put across which should naturally be persuasive and not binding.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice remains law-abiding and wholeheartedly abiding by presidential directives,” Gwandu said.
Party Chieftain Asks Court To Sack Buni-Led Caretaker Committee
Meabwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Okosisi Emeka Ngwu, has filed a suit at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), seeking the dissolution of Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party.
Specifically, the plaintiff wants an order of court nullifying all the actions taken by the committee.
The suit marked FCT/ HC/CV/1824/2021, and dated August 2, 2021, joined the APC and all members of the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee as defendants.
They include Mai Mala Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sani Bello, Dr. James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Hon. Akenyemi Olaide, David Leon, Abba Ali, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Ismail Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
By the suit, the claimant in his originating summons filed through his counsel, Chief Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), is praying the court to dissolve the committee known as and called Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee as there is no organ of the party or any such organisation in the party’s constitution.
He wants a declaration that unless an election is conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and by an organ known to and created by the constitution of the APC, no valid candidate can emerge from such a primary.
In addition, among other reliefs, the claimant is seeking a declaration that pursuant to section 87(4)(b)(1) of the Electoral Act (as amended), only the National Executive Committee of a political party can validly appoint a date for the holding of primaries for the nomination of the gubernatorial or other candidates of the political party.
Ngwu is further urging the court to grant an order setting aside all actions and decisions taken by members of CECPC of the party.
The originating summons is supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit wherein, the claimant averred that in 2018, he had wanted to contest for the national chairman of the party after the tenure of the then national chairman of the party expired but was prevailed upon to allow Adams Oshiomhole to be returned unopposed.
“That he was prevailed upon to sheathe his ambition because he (Oshiomhole) had only four years to be in office and then he will contest the election for the position of the national chairman.
“That after just two years, I was surprised to hear that the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee had been dissolved and a contraption known as Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had been created by an unknown person and Mai Mala Buni asked unilaterally to head the committee,” he said.