APC Congresses: It’s Too Late For Reconciliation, APC Is Gone — Former Party National Legal Adviser, Banire
A former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Muiz Banire said with the current crisis ravaging APC, there is nothing the present caretaker committee can do to salvage the party as every step they have taken so far, the ones they are taking right now and the ones they will still be taking will eventually and ultimately end in nullity.
Muiz maintained that going by article 17(IV) of the APC constitution which is very explicit, there is no way the present caretaker committee can do anything that will not amount to a nullity while predicting that internal implosion of the party seem to be inevitable ultimately.
The former APC Legal Adviser who made the assertion during Channels Television’s Sunday Politics monitored by OLIKA REPORTERS NEWS noted that if what is playing out is something to go by, then at the end of the day you’ll also discover that it would be catastrophic for the party as has been previously predicted by a lot of people.
“Honestly speaking I’m not too sure that political situation can come to their rescue again. It appears to me to be too late in the day and legally, There is no doubt about the fact that the nearer we get to the election the higher the hostility.
On what led to the situation in APC, the former party adviser pointed out that, “One thing that almost ruin the party was the supreme court judgment and the implications of it. A lot of people were aggrieved in the matter.
“What is going on is reckless to say the least. My expectation is that the event would have been postponed for several reasons. In the first instance, to the best of my knowledge, there is no credible register on which they can premise any congress at all.
“Secondly, I’m aware if no other place of Lagos state that even those who were suppose to conduct were just convening stakeholders meeting some few hours to the end of yesterday without any ward committee at all. No register was displayed, No nomination forms they didn’t submit anything; nobody screened anybody so from my perspective is just a complete Sham.”
“Considering the decision of the apex court last Wednesday one would have expected a very responsible manager to tarry a bit and let the cloud be clear. Right now as I’m talking to you, it is very cloudy.
“Nobody understands the gravity of the Supreme Court decision on Wednesday in Akeredolu’s case and in such circumstance you don’t proceed until you are clear in your thought and ways.
“As at today so many opinions have been expressed, all of them I can say without fear of contradiction are speculative and premature. Nobody has seen the full official judgment of the court as at today. The expectation is that hopefully by tomorrow, the certified true copy will be released for people to digest them, and now be able to make informed decision and opinion.
“In such circumstances, why would they proceed? Why are they in a hurry to do something which might eventually become calamitous?”
“Because if eventually it is true that the Supreme Court came to the conclusion unanimously that Governor Buni ought not to have signed any of the nomination papers of Governor Akeredolu, the same will apply to the congress they are doing because the letter of notification to INEC was signed equally by Governor Mai Mala Buni.
“So if the foundation is lacking certainly you can’t build anything on it. Certainly at the end of the day, the whole exercise will be a no charm; a complete waste of everybody’s time.”
“For me the least I can say is that the exercise is just simply reckless, I don’t use want to use the word irresponsible.”
On the non-availability of register despite the party’s claim of recently holding an electoral registration exercise, Muiz said; “I’m aware that they did registration but there is a difference between the registration and the register. It is the process of computation and compilation that leads to having a register of party member.”
“Today ask them of how many members are in each ward? Do contestants even know those who will be voting for them? which is part of the basic requirement of a free and fair election or transparent congress that is not obtainable in the just concluded congress.
“Where did you see in your own surgeon yesterday, register being displayed or the names of contestants being displayed? I believe that due to the lack of register they decided to promote consensus but unfortunately they didn’t eventually achieve that at all. At least in Lagos state I can tell you that there are not less than five tendencies all of who disagreed, several parallel purported congresses.
“From my experience with APC when they tell you consensus just take it as imposition, just take it as that. It has a different connotation under APC.”
When asked if the party’s constitution recognizes consensus he said, “Consensus is one of the options in electing officers in the offices stipulated by the party’s constitution. There is nothing absolutely wrong with consensus, I am one of the people who will encourage consensus, but once there is a voice of dissect it ceases to be consensus, proper congress must be held. That is the position of the law, anything beside that is a nullity.”
Reacting to multiple court cases by aggrieved party members, the lawyer said the cookie is crumbling, undoubtedly. As at the last count there were about five or seven cases as at Friday and I can tell you for free before the end of this week is not unlikely to be up to thirty of such cases and is expected anyway, because once there is a violation of the document that binds all of them as members of their party together, the only option open to people is to first lay their grievance in court some others may want to promote anarchy and take the law into their hands.
“For me, those who have gone to court haven’t done anything wrong and they do not even need as far as the law is concerned to exhaust any internal or domestic remedy within the party because the constitution gives unfettered access to the court. So no other act, law, guideline can disentitle anybody from going to court not let a pronouncement of a person.
“When asked the effect of people going to court in this manner, over the validity of a national leadership of the party and how its effect wait for them in the wing very close to the general elections as a bad omen for the political party, the APC’s Former Legal Adviser said; “Honestly speaking I’m not too sure that political situation can come to their rescue again. It appear to me to be too late in the day.
“I believe that it is becoming extremely difficult to find or develop any mechanism towards the resolution of the conflict that is playing out now. Particularly, there are so many interest groups already in the party and a lot of them of course are rising or growing against the background of the 2023 election and where such happens, there is a threshold or there is a particular item that all of them are looking up to it becomes practically impossible to find a common ground in this instance.”
“There is no way the present caretaker committee can do anything that will not amount to a nullity. Every step they have taken so far, the ones they are taking right now and the one they will still be taking will eventually and ultimately likely to be a nullity. Why will you want to go that direction?” he concluded.