APC members sue party, say Mai Mala Buni caretaker committee illegal
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/938/2021, the claimants are praying the court to dissolve the 13-member committee.
Buni was appointed by the APC national executive committee (NEC) in June 2020 to organise a convention following its decision to disband the national working committee (NWC) led by Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman.
The Oshiomhole-led NWC was dissolved after a protracted leadership crisis.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were named as defendants in the suit.
According to Channels Television, the party members, through Samuel Irabor, their lawyer, argued that Buni cannot be chairman of a caretaker committee and hold his position as a governor.
They said the court should dissolve the committee on four grounds which are: “That the 13 members Caretaker Committee falls short of the constitutionally required 24 members spread across not less than two-third of the 36 States and the FCT for any governing body of a political party, whether substantive or acting, as stipulated under Section 223(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as altered).
“That the headship of the Caretaker Committee by a sitting Governor holding dual executive offices is prohibited by Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17(4) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended).
“That by Article 13(4)(xvi) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended) only the National Working Committee rather than the NEC of the party can constitute a Caretaker Committee in whatever form, nature or guise.
“That the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, who administered the oath of office on Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as purported Caretaker Chairman lacks the powers to do so under any provision of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended) as he is neither a member of the National Working Committee or even a member of the NEC of the APC.”
Party members like Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, said the supreme court questioned the competence of Buni to lead the party when it affirmed Rotimi Akeredolu as governor of Ondo state.
Keyamo said Buni should be replaced to avoid litigation.