The main opposition party had asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to remove Buni as the Governor Yobe State.
In a four-page originating summons filed at the court on Thursday, it urged the court to make the governor appear before it and defend whether or not he ceased to be governor by accepting to be the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman.
Akpanudoedehe, however, explained that it would be sub judice to comment on the action of the opposition party.
Read the full statement by the APC spokesman below:
PDP’s Frivolous Court Action Against The CECPC Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni
Our attention has been drawn to a purported court action sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State.
While we are constrained from and reluctant to comment on the PDP’s misplaced and frivolous court action because it will be sub judice, the PDP leadership is obviously executing a desperate and poorly-scripted propaganda plot aimed at deflecting attention from the crisis of confidence the failed opposition party faces.
The PDP is an ignominious rabble-rouser and has no locus to take any action on the internal affairs of the APC.
The Supreme Court has already affirmed the status and legality of the CECPC and that is all there is to it.
There are clearly spelled out punitive measures against abuse of court processes. We are confident that the Judiciary will apply these measures fully.
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has explained why several armed security operatives were stationed at its national secretariat in Abuja on Monday.
Secretary to the APC National Caretaker Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, said the move was due to security alerts received in the early hours of the day.
“We were privileged to receive a security report and as you are aware, we have the presence of police and all the security agencies here; it is a proactive measure to protect lives and property,” the APC chieftain told reporters at the party’s secretariat which was occupied by armed security operatives.
Akpanudoedehe faulted claims that the office of the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Mai Mala Buni, was under threat and that the fear of a move to oust him (Buni) led to the closure of the secretariat.
Buni’s position has come under increased scrutiny since the Supreme Court upheld the election of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, and in the build-up to the APC congresses.
Even though the Supreme Court did not make a ruling about the legality of his position during its judgement on the election, some party members have argued that it is wrong for him to be a sitting governor and head the party’s National Caretaker Committee at the same time.
Those who want Buni out, argue that allowing him to carry on leading the committee put the party at risk of litigation and electoral losses.
Akpanudoedehe, however, insists that it is wrong to link the incident at the party’s national secretariat with issues surrounding Buni’s position as the leader of the committee.
“We have done congresses, and we are going to do congresses,” he said.
“The insinuation is by those who are against the party or the President; we want to repeat that the Supreme Court judgement confirmed the authority, the position, and the decision that was taken by the National Executive Council of the APC.
“The office of the national chairman is not under any threat, as far as we are concerned. So, don’t try to link or insinuate (it to what happened at the secretariate); it is a normal administrative measure to safeguard lives and property.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday said the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu is hale and hearty.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this while briefing journalists at the Lagos House Ikeja on his visit to the APC National Leader in London, the United Kingdom on Tuesday amid rumours that Tinubu was sick and hospitalised.
A few days ago, social media was awash that Tinubu was undergoing major surgery in Maryland, the United States over an undisclosed illness.
But the governor debunked the rumours, adding that he and Tinubu both held talks on happenings in APC and across the country.
To buttress his point, the Lagos governor also shared pictures of him explaining something to the party’s national leader.
“He is well, he is healthy and we conversed. We talked about what is happening in our party, what is happening in the nation and just to say to him that all is well,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“You saw him (Tinubu). Yes, indeed, I am the one you saw in the picture that I took when I visited our leader in London just to dispel all of the rumours that were flying around that he was sick and hospitalised.
“I went to see things for myself. It is just to put the mind and heart of people to rest that there is nothing for us to worry about,” the governor disclosed.
On when Tinubu would likely return to Nigeria, the governor didn’t give any specific date.
Rather, he said the APC leader will decide when he will return from his foreign trip.
He added, “A man has discretion as to decide when to go out of the country and when to return. It is his call. Is he coming here to do Governor’s work? Can’t you see the picture we took together? The picture doesn’t lie.”
The governor’s reaction comes four days after Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, said his principal does not have any medical problem requiring hospitalisation.
In a statement he issued on July 31, he warned those he described as mischief makers to desist from spreading fake news, noting that those who wish Tinubu dead should be careful.
“Anytime he travels out of the country, the next thing some mischievous people would say is he is sick, hospitalized, or has died. It is shameful that perpetrators of this evil are not deterred by the fact that each time this fake news has been propagated, they have been proven wrong.
“Who really is afraid of Asiwaju Tinubu? Those wishing Asiwaju Tinubu evil or dead should be careful. They should know the matter of life and death is in the hand of only God Almighty,” Tinubu’s spokesman said.
The Kaduna State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress adopted a consensus system to elect its ward officials in Saturday’s ward congress.
The chairman of the state APC ward congress committee, Abubakar Moddibo, who announced this at a news conference on Sunday said the exercise held across the 255 electoral wards in Kaduna was peaceful and successful.
Briefing reporters alongside his committee members, Moddibo commended the party members for exhibiting what he termed as a high sense of decorum and unity in electing those that will lead them at the grassroots level.
He expressed satisfaction over the process, noting that the consensus option for the congress was unanimously agreed on by all the party members across all wards.
The committee chairman further noted that the consensus option demonstrated the unity that exists amongst the party leaders and members across the wards, adding that no complaint was received before, during, and after the congress.
The party’s leadership has also read the riot act on the conduct of the congresses.
APC in a notice to its chieftains by the Secretary, National Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpan-Udoedehe, warned that the party would invoke necessary disciplinary measures on those who hold parallel congresses.
He reminded them of the National Executive Committee’s resolution, which directed members not to take the party to court unless it has exhausted “the internal mechanism for conflict resolution, as enshrined in the party’s constitution.”
Senator Akpan-Udoedehe insisted that the resolution still subsists and extends to the conduct of party members during the congresses.
“The governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever,” said Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as he quotes the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
Senator Omo-Agege, who represents Delta State Central senatorial district and doubles as the Deputy President of the Senate, believes the law does not forbid a sitting governor from holding another position.
He, however, clarified that such a position must not be salaried executive office, noting the situation where a governor could lead a committee or group such as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
This was in reaction to the controversy over the appointment of Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court affirmed Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC as the winner of the October 2020 governorship election in Ondo State.
A seven-man panel of the apex court, in a split judgement of four to three, agreed with the decision of the Court of Appeal in Akure that struck out the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the poll, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, for lack of merit.
The appellants had asked the court to sack Governor Akeredolu, saying his nomination form was signed by a sitting governor.
According to them, the suit was filed in line with the constitutional provision that forbids a sitting governor from holding executive positions outside their statutory position as governors.
But in his legal opinion as a lawyer, Senator Omo-Agege disagreed with the position of the opposition party.
He stressed that it was absolutely impossible and untenable to argue that the provisions of Section 183 barred a governor from being a chairman or member of a caretaker committee set up by his or her political party.
Read the full text of the lawmaker’s opinion below:
LEGAL OPINION ON THE JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA IN JEGEDE V. AKEREDOLU AND THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 183 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AS IT AFFECTS THE APC SCHEDULED CONGRESSES NATIONWIDE
Yesterday, Wednesday 28th July 2021, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment dismissing the appeal initiated by Eyitayo Jegede against the election of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Surprisingly, mischief-makers for obviously nefarious intentions, resort to misinterpret the said judgment vis-a-vis the purport of section 183 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as it affects the APC Congresses scheduled for Saturday.
Without much ado, it is important to state that the majority decision of the Supreme Court in Jegede’s case, emphatically dismissed the appeal and did not consider the issue of the provisions of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution, neither did the majority decision make any comments on the competence of Governor Mai Mala Bumi as the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee.
The appeal was dismissed on the ground of competence or lack thereof for the non-joinder of a necessary party to the suit at the lower court. It is, therefore, disingenuous, unsound, and mischievous to attempt to misinform the reading public of what was not the ratio decidendi of the judgment of the court.
Even if the apex court had considered the provisions of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution, the majority panel would still have dismissed the appeal. Having established the above point, it is necessary to proceed to clear the gross misconception of the provisions of section 183 of the 1999 Constitution.
The sole question that begs for consideration is whether the appointment of Governor Mai Mala Bumi as the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman offends the provisions of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)?
In answering the above question, it is pertinent to reproduce the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) as follows:
“The governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.”
In view of the foregoing constitutional provisions, the question becomes: Is the appointment of a Governor to Chair a Caretaker COMMITTEE of his political party, same not being an ‘Executive Office’ in respect of which he is to be paid remuneration, incompetent? Can it be said that a State Governor who is the Chairman of the Governors Forum of Nigeria is occupying an “Executive office”? Can it also be argued that the President cannot be appointed as the Chairman of the Africa Union?
From the explicit provision of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is absolutely impossible and untenable to argue that the provisions of Section 183 bar a Governor from being a Chairman or member of a Caretaker Committee set up by his or her political party. More so, the position of the Chairman of a Caretaker Committee cannot by any sense of imagination, logic, or simple common sense be classified as being a salaried Executive office.
It is important at this point to restate the fact, that the Caretaker Committee was duly constituted by the NEC of the party and given a specific mandate to put necessary measures in place to conduct a seamless elective National Convention.
There is no law under our legal jurisprudence that bars or prohibits a Governor who is a member of a political party and won elections under the political party from carrying out specific assignments on behalf of his party. How this will amount to holding an Executive office is beyond every stretch of human comprehension.
In the light of the foregoing exposition, it is humbly and firmly stated that Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) only bars a Governor from holding Executive positions like being a Minister, or any other executive position for which he shall be paid for. It does not by any scintilla of imagination, render the appointment of Governor Bumi as APC Caretaker Committee Chairman incompetent and will not in any way, affect the legality or competence of the APC scheduled Congresses.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
Deputy President of the Senate & Obarisi of Urhoboland
Thousands of supporters of various political parties in Taraba State have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The supporters, drawn from the 52 political wards of the five local government and special development areas of southern Taraba, stormed the St. Mary Secondary School in Wukari on Friday to declare their allegiance into the APC fold.
They comprised members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
An APC chieftain, Dalhatu Sangari, who received the new members said the development was the first of its kind in the political history of southern Taraba.
“Well, about 50,000 supporters from different political parties across Taraba South senatorial district consisting of five LGAs and one special development area have defected to our party.
“In political systems, one of the characteristics is a division of opinions and it leads to crises within ranks and we in the APC have been doing all things possible to see that these crises are resolved preparatory to 2023,” he said at the event.
Sangari urged the party faithful to give 100 per cent support to whoever would emerge as the consensus candidate for the ward, local government, state, zonal and national congresses.
One of the new members and a staunch supporter of the late Aisha Alhassan who was fondly called Mama Taraba, Tubase Ibrahim, asked the supporters of the former minister to join the APC.
“Today we have left the PDP and are back to APC. We lost the 2019 elections due to disunity and many factions and at the end of the day, our candidate (Alhassan) could not scale through. The APC has returned solidified, united, and ready to face PDP in Taraba State come 2023.
“From our observations at the grassroots, we know Taraba shall be of APC come 2023. As it stands now, from the 168 wards and 16 local government areas of Taraba State, all those who were with Mama Taraba are now in the APC,” he said.
But the PDP has insisted that it remained the party to beat in Taraba, highlighting the efforts of the present administration to develop the state.
It called on its supporters not to be moved by the game of APC in gathering what it described as fake crowds to scare party stalwarts, stressing that the APC has lost many times in Taraba and would remain a loser.
The National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, has disclosed that the nationwide ward congress to elect party executives will still hold as scheduled on July 31, 2021.
In a statement by the National Secretary of the party’s caretaker committee, Sen. Akpanudoedehe, ward Congress Committees of the Party has already been inaugurated and delegated with the responsibility of conducting, supervising, monitoring the scheduled Ward Congresses.
He said the clarification is against the backdrop of personal opinions being expressed by some individuals on the status of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC ) and its capacity to conduct the Congresses.
“While it is not our intention to join issues with these commentators, the Supreme Court’s Wednesday judgement affirming the Election victory of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had no bearing on the CECPC’s status and its membership.
“Party members and aspirants should therefore come out en masse and peacefully to participate in the ward Congresses, come Saturday”, he added.
Hours after the Supreme Court ruled on the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has admitted that anxiety filled his camp in the build-up of the apex court judgment.
The governor, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, said when he got wind of information that the legal battle may not go in his favour, he resorted to prayers.
Following Akeredolu’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had asked the Court of Appeal in Akure to sack Akeredolu, saying his nomination form was signed by a sitting governor, Mai Mala Buni (of Yobe State), who doubled as the Acting National Chairman of the APC.
The appeal was filed in line with the constitutional provision that forbade a sitting governor from holding executive positions outside their statutory position as governors.
But the appellate court struck out the appeal for lack of merit – a decision which made the appellants seek redress in at the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, a seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court had upheld the re-election of Governor Akeredolu in a majority judgement of four against three.
But Akeredolu reacted to the Supreme Court verdict, said he never envisaged a problem could arise that might make him forfeit his position as governor.
“The news we had later, few days to this judgement gave us a lot of anxiety. Is it possible for anyone to think otherwise, that the judgment of the Court of Appeal – five of them finding in our favour – can anybody think he would turn it?” he said.
“When it came out that there was some problem that could happen, there was apprehension and I am not going to deny that fact. We were worried but trusted in the God we believed in.
“Some of us are strong believers; I am a man of faith. And because of that my belief, I trusted in my God. I resumed prayers and knew that God had heard those prayers.”
The governor later added that if the case did not turn out in his favour, he would have packed out of the Ondo State Government House, Akure.
Meanwhile, Jegede has congratulated Akeredolu following the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Ondo State governorship election.
Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and PDP’s candidate in the election, made the gesture on Wednesday despite his loss to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the apex court.
“Now that we have explored the grievance procedure permitted by the constitution and the law, it is time to give glory to God,” he said in a statement personally signed by him.
The senior advocate added, “With this outcome, our respect and reverence for the judiciary and our justices of the supreme court has not diminished.”
He also thanked the legal team, led by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), for their commitment, industry, and dedication to the cause, as well as for their sacrifice.
Jegede commended the people of Ondo for their steadfastness, saying the decision to approach the apex court was for service and the collective interest of the majority of the people.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum to focus on how to fix its party rather than trading blames.
Senator John Akpanudoedehe, the National Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) gave the caution on behalf of the ruling party.
In a statement on Monday, he faulted the resolutions of the PDP governors who met in Bauchi State to deliberate on critical issues affecting the country.
“Our attention has been drawn to yet another communique by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum which is laced with lies, idle conspiracy theories on the state of the nation, and the PDP’s pitiable attempt to explain its failed state as the supposed main opposition party in the country.
“It is indeed remarkable that the PDP has finally opened up to its fast-depleting fortunes. However, it is advisable that the PDP concentrates on redemption instead of blaming the APC or anyone else for its rudderless state,” said Akpanudoedehe.
He added, “We reiterate that it is foolhardy for the PDP to expect its members to sink with the party in the face of its failed state.
“The PDP should quickly address itself to the fact that its members and leaders who are joining the APC in droves are attracted and inspired by the progressive leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari government and the internal democracy being entrenched by the leadership of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).”
At the meeting in Bauchi, the PDP governors had slammed the APC led Federal Government over the present security and economic situations in the country.
They also stressed the need for free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.
Defending the ruling party, Akpanudoedehe stated that every election conducted in the country has been an improvement on the last under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He gave the assurance that the APC would continue to support constitutionally backed innovations by election management bodies to make the nation’s elections more credible.
According to the APC chieftain, the party is resolved to entrench internal democracy in all decision-making processes, particularly party nomination – direct and indirect primaries, or consensus.
“The Permanent Voters’ Card remains the only legal instrument voters can use to elect progressive leaders who can sustain the ongoing efforts of APC governments at the Federal, state and local government areas to sustain its successes in renewing national infrastructure, transforming agriculture and diversifying the economy.
“We urge well-meaning Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration exercise to register,” he said.
The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has berated the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), over its management of Nigeria, saying that by 2023, the party would have completely wrecked Africa’s most populous nation.
He stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, lamenting that the next party to take over the helms of leadership in 2023 would have a herculean task of fixing the country.
While blaming the political class for the nation’s woes, Baba-Ahmed said the country’s current challenge is not just as a result of banditry and kidnapping activities but leadership failure.
“What are you going to do with 2023 because between now and 2023, APC would have completely wrecked this country?” he said.
“You are going to take over a country that has been completely destroyed by a party that has been substantially produced by the PDP and how are you going to fix this country? What’s your blueprint for what happens to Nigeria in 2023?”
Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.