Aketi vs Jegede: Why APC must call Emergency NEC meeting —Lawyers, as Buhari reacts

THE IMPLICATION OF THE SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT IN JEGEDE VS AKEREDOLU AS IT AFFECTS THE APC IS THAT THE PARTY MUST HALT ALL PREPARATIONS AND CONDUCT OF CONGRESSES NATIONWIDE FORTHWITH

The Supreme Court by a narrow split decision today (4-3)held that GOV. AKEREDOLU cannot be removed as Governor of Ondo State. The little technical point that saved Gov AKEREDOLU was that Jegede failed to join GOV. Mai Mala Buni in the suit. Jegede was challenging the competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni as a sitting Governor to run the affairs of the APC as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.

He contends that this is against Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution which states that a sitting Governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever. In other words, had Buni been joined in the suit, the story may have been different today as we would have lost Ondo State to the PDP.

Therefore, any other person affected by the actions of the Buni-led Committee will henceforth not fail to join him in any subsequent case in court. These includes any subsequent election matter in any part of this country and all the APC Congresses that are about to hold. The Supreme Court has just weaponised all those that would be aggrieved by the APC Congresses to proceed to court to Challenge the competence of the Buni-led CECPC to organise the Congresses and National Convention.

The judiciary will subsequently destroy the entire structure of the Party from bottom to top. We are lucky the Supreme Court has just given us a great and useful hint to save our Party just before the beginning of our Congresses. We cannot gamble with this delicate issue. The time to act is NOW.

WHAT TO DO.

The planned Congresses across the country slated for this weekend must immediately be suspended because it will be an exercise in futility as analysed above. The competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni to organise the congresses has been called to question by the Supreme Court.

FIRST OPTION

Firstly, the NEC of the Party can URGENTLY meet and consider and reconstitute the CECPC to exclude, not only Gov. Buni, but anyone holding ANY executive position in any government establishment as stipulated in Article 17 of the APC Constitution.

WHO SUMMONS NEC NOW AS THERE IS TECHNICALLY NO COMPETENT NATIONAL CHAIRMAN?

Under Article 25 of the APC Constitution, it is the National Chairman OR TWO-THIRDS OF MEMBERS OF NEC that can Summon a NEC meeting. Since we cannot vouch for the legality of any NEC meeting summoned by MAI MALA now, the safest is to get TWO-THIRDS of NEC members to sign an Invitation to summon a NEC meeting where the CECPC would be reconstituted and our Party would be safe.

SECOND OPTION

Alternatively, the Board of Trustees of the Party, which includes Mr. President, can be activated to organise a National Convention in line with Article 13 of the APC Constitution where it is given such powers. Those powers can be delegated at the meeting to a Committee in line with the APC Constitution which will run the Party and plan the Convention. The new Exco can then plan for Congresses.

Above are my humble and respectful suggestions to save our Party from imminent danger in the light of the Supreme Court judgment today. To ignore this and do otherwise would be tantamount to playing with fire and the opposition would simply wait till our Presidential Primaries in 2023 to disqualify our candidate and destroy the party.

I have done my professional bit to the Party. I can do no more.

FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

WHY MAI MALA BONI SHOULD STEP-DOWN NOW – AJULO

It’s no news that the Supreme Court by a split of 4-3 dismissed the Petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party’s Aspirant for the 2020 Ondo State Governorship Election, Eyitayo Jegede SAN against the incumbent Governor of Ondo State and the All Progressives Congress.

Without prejudice to the ratio decidendi of the majority decision of the Court, it is imperative to state pressistimo and very clearly too that with the unanimous position of the Apex Court that it appears the actions of the All Progressives Congress in permitting a sitting Governor as the Interim Chairman of the Party is in violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is my sincere view that the Interim Chairman of the All Progressive Congress should immediately step down.

My humble but cosmic review of the judgment comes with an indication that the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has to vacate his seat, as the Chairman of APC with immediate effect.

The provision of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is clear and unambiguous to the effect that “The Governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.”

As a former National Secretary of Labour Party, I am quite aware and it is unassailable that the National Chairman and the National Secretary are the alter egos of a political party chartered with the day to day running of the party.

It is therefore incontrovertible that the continuous stay of the Governor as Chief Executive Officer of the All Progressives Congress runs contrary to provision of the Constitution and as such may be an albatross on the party, as all he had done before would be null and void, including nomination of candidates within the period of his so called Leadership of the party.

In lending my two cents, it is apposite to assuage and hint the leadership of the party by reminding same of the decision of Lord Denning of over 5 decades in the case MACFOY v. UAC LIMITED (1961) 3 ALL E.R where the Learned Jurist held that: “If an act is void, then it is in law a nullity. It is not only bad but incurably bad. There is no need for an order of court to set it aside.”

Whichever way this issue is being tilted, permitting a Governor of a State to hold other executive office may create cravings in some Governors to become the State Chairman of their Political Parties as being recently tinkered by some of them.
In order to nip this looming inglorious kismet in the bud, I thereby admonish that the acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress should immediately step down as a stitch in time saves nine!

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES GOV AKEREDOLU ON SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT, URGES MORE DEDICATION TO PEOPLE-DEVELOPMENT

President Muhammadu Buhari joins members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in felicitating with Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over the Supreme Court judgement, which upheld his re-election in the October 10, 2020 polls.

The President urges the governor, and all elected leaders of the governing party, to always place the people first in their consideration of development programmes and projects, affirming that the popularity of the APC would continue to depend on performance and acceptance by the electorate.

President Buhari extols the Ondo State governor for assiduously working for the development of the state, with reforms that continue to attract the goodwill of investors, and insistence that education, health and security take priority.

The President notes that the Supreme Court Judgement, preceded by that of the Court of Appeal, further bolsters the strength and reach of the APC, and its bright chances of consolidation in coming elections.

President Buhari calls on the opposition to sheathe the sword, work for the development of Ondo State, and wishes the government and people a prosperous future.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 28, 2021