APC Ward Congresses: I Didn’t Ignore Presidential Directives — Malami

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Abubakar Malami (SAN)

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.

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