The last has not been heard of the opinions surrounding the legitimacy of the Malam Buni-led caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress.
Ever since the court case which announced the victory of the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, some political pundits have latched onto the minority judgment which suggested the illegitimacy of the Malam Buni-led committee.
Some strong members of the APC like the current special adviser to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, the Minister of state, labor and Employment, Festus keyamo, and the special adviser to the president on political matters, Senator Ojudu had openly called on the party to dissolve the Buni-led committee and set up a regular party exco.
All the pleas from the party members had fallen on deaf ears as the party has gone ahead to organize congresses in the ward level.
Currently, there are 2 court cases that have been instituted against the APC which could have a detrimental effect on the party if care is not taken.
1, Holding onto this mistake by the APC, the PDP has gone ahead to challenge the legitimacy of the Buni-led committee and this may be a big setback for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The Peoples Democratic Party has today, the 12th August 2021, filed a suit challenging the authority of Governor of Yobe State, Mala Mai Buni, and his committee to pilot the affairs of the APC. They claim it was a breach of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
These are the reasons why this particular case will hurt the APC.
In the case between Akeredolu VS Jegede (The Ondo governorship elections suit), the Supreme Court had by a split decision, of four to three, stopped the removal of Akeredolu as governor.
However, the Buni led committee was saved just by the whiskers as the PDP candidate, Jegede failed to join Buni in the suit.
Jegede had challenged why Buni, a sitting governor should be authorized to run a party adding that it was 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.
While noting that it was unfair to try Buni in absentia, the trial judge had noted that indeed, it was a grave error for an individual who lacked constitutional powers to sign the nomination papers for a governor.
This means that if indeed, Buni was joined in the trial, it would have been a big issue for the Ondo governor.
The PDP has now sought to exploit this loophole by going to court to challenge this issue.
2, Based on the same premise, another political party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has instituted a suit against the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Federal High Court Abuja.
The NNPP has requested that the ruling party be disqualified from taking part in the forthcoming chairmanship position election in the Abuja Municipal Council (AMAC), which has been scheduled for February 12, 2022.
The party has argued that the Malam Buni-led caretaker committee which was instituted on the 25th of June 2020 had no powers to organize and approve a candidate for the party.
The party noted that according to law, the APC National Chairman and secretary did not sign two very important documents of their chairmanship candidate which is the written request submitted to INEC to obtain the access code for nomination forms and the second document being the covering letter forwarding the nomination form of the candidate.
With these two court cases, it appears the APC may be headed for some deep problems as other political parties may rise to the occasion and either join in the suits or file their fresh suits.
Note that the PDP is praying for the courts to dissolve all elections won by the APC during the tenure of Malam Buni.
if the PDP and other opposition parties can set up a strong legal team with strong facts and reasons to convince the courts, the APC may be headed for a new wave of crises which may affect the party negatively as Nigerians prepare for the 2023 election year.
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