Court Order On Freezing Of #EndSARS Protesters Account Is Flawed, Says Banire

Former Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC)


A former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muiz Banire, says the court order on the freezing of #EndSARS Protesters’account is flawed.

Banire disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“In my very strong view, the order is flawed. The order granted by the judge to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out inquiry and investigation, how will you freeze somebody’s account and then go back to investigation and inquiry?” he questioned.

“I am sure it is a case of putting the cart before the horse. Beyond that itself, the law does not even say that. What the law says is that even where you do so, you must investigate the matter through the Nigerian Police or any of the security agencies.”

When asked what the Federal Government should have done rather than freezing the accounts of the protesters, the legal practitioner called for trust-building.

While recalling President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on the protests in October, Banire asked the current administration to meet the demands of the Nigerian youths.

“My expectation is that the Federal Government as promised by the President in his speech should have just gone ahead, engage them in respect of the five demands of the youths.

“Beyond that also, the government should try to build confidence in these youths. The truth of the matter is that Nigerians generally tend not to trust the government in anything.

“In a situation like this when the youths come out to say ‘look we do not trust you,’ the least that we can do post the protest should have been to engage them to put this trust.”

Banire’s remarks come five days after a Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests.

The request, granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was filed by the CBN on October 20.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.

Others are: Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.

I Have No Problem With Tinubu – Banire

Banire And Tinubu

The National Legal Adviser to the All Progressives Congress, Mr Muiz Banire (SAN), has denied reports that he has fallen out of favour with the national leader of the party, Mr Bola Tinubu.

Mr Banire has also criticised those seeking his expulsion from the APC, describing them as political jobbers who know nothing about the party’s constitution.

He disclosed this during a phone interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today after shunning a disciplinary committee set up by his constituency to investigate allegations of anti-party activities levelled against him.

“As I am talking to you, no disciplinary committee has been put in place by any legitimate group. Of course, it is a continuous show of shame by those people that claim to be party members but unfortunately they do not even know the colour of the constitution of the APC talk much less the content,” he said.

“They lack the capacity in the first instance to even summon me, assuming that they are members of the APC. If you have seen the publication today by the authentic members of the APC in Mushin Local Government, you will see that these are strangers, these are political jobbers that are put together for a purpose.

“Unfortunately, they are just wasting the people’s resources in this regard. This is not the first one; they have just recently failed in compromising the national leaders of the party.”

Members of Mr Banire’s constituency have held protests, calling for his expulsion from the party, but he attributed this to his insistence on transparency in the party and his opposition to impunity.

Asked if his travails had anything to do with falling out of favour with Mr Tinubu, he said, “I have no problem whatsoever – I have not fallen out with anybody much less Asiwaju (Tinubu) particularly. As far as I am concerned, Asiwaju is our leader; I have no issue with him.

“Those people who certainly are not for the rule of law can never be my friends. I am for the rule of law. It is as simple as that.”

There have been several twists to the controversy surrounding Mr Banire. One of these twists was the emergence of reports that he had been suspended from the party, a development which prompted the national leadership APC to issue a statement late July rubbishing the reports.

Although the efforts to get Mr Banire sanctioned or expelled from the party have continued, he appears unfazed.

“I tell you for free. If you are conversant with the APC’s constitution, which I can even oblige you. You cannot even expel anybody, not even the national body can expel a member of the party,” he said.

“It is only the national convention that can legally even expel anybody. That further confirms to you that these (those calling for his expulsion) are strangers to the party.”

APC Denies Suspending Banire

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the news of the purported suspension of the Party’s National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN) as false.

The Party confirmed this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi explaining that it does not hold the power to suspend a national officer.

“The attention of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to the purported suspension of the Party’s National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) by the Party’s executive committee in Mushin Local government area of Lagos State.

“We wish to state categorically that the purported suspension is a nullity as the local chapter of the Party does not have such powers to suspend a national officer.

“According to the Party’s constitution, such powers reside with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party.

“The Party advises that whatever issues there might be, our Party structure and constitution provide ample avenues for redress and dispute resolution. If the local chapter is unable to achieve a resolution, the NWC can and will wade in the matter to achieve amicable settlement,” the statement read.

Group Seeks Domestication Of FOI Act In States

FOIThe Nigerian legislature has been asked to give the necessary political will and formidable legal framework to the Freedom of Information Act and the proposed Whistle Blower Protection Bill to make it more effective and efficient in the fight against corruption and impunity in the system.

This call was made by the convener of the United Action for Change, Mr Muiz Banire (SAN), while presenting the two bills before some members of the Ogun State House of Assembly in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The organization was in Abeokuta to seek the understanding and cooperation of the state assembly to ensure the two bills are domesticated in the state when passed into law.

They also emphasised the need to critically examine the Freedom of Information Act, which they claimed has not received the expected wide acceptability as a result of many observed lapses in the act.

They recommended amendments to address those lapses.

Reacting to the call for a vibrant legal framework for the bills to be effective, the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, expressed the support of the House for the bills.

He said that everything humanly possible would be done by members to ensure the bills are domesticated in the state.

Answering reporters’ questions at the end of the session, Mr Muiz Banire said that the proposed amendment to the FOI Act and the Whistle Blower Protection Bill are aimed at ensuring good governance, accountability and sustenance of the fight against corruption.

The proposed Ogun version of the bill has 33 sections, with emphasis on Section 20 and 21 which provides for Complaint Commissioner and Appeal Commissioner.

APC Leaders Meet With Buhari

John-OyegunMembers of the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress on Monday held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also attended the meeting held inside the First Lady’s Conference Hall.

It was the first meeting of the party’ leadership since the beginning of 2016.

The APC leaders were led to the meeting by the party’s National Chairman, Mr John Oyegun. It started at about 8:20pm local time with the arrival of the President and his Vice.

Others in attendance were the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Lawali Shuaib; Zonal Vice Chairman, Segun Oni; and the National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire, among others.

A source told Channels Television that the meeting was convened to trash out internal issues like disputes among members and the progress made by the Federal Government in executing the party’s campaign promises.

There are feelers also that national issues including security were discussed at the meeting.

The meeting was also expected to take a position on the just-concluded Bayelsa State governorship election won by the incumbent governor and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Seriake Dickson, among others.

Some presidential aides, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, were also in attendance.