Junior Minister Festus Keyamo has called for the suspension of the planned congresses of the All Progressive Congress (APC) nationwide expected to hold on Saturday.
Mr Keyamo, the minister of state for Labour and Employment, also demanded the removal of Yobe State governor, Mai Mala-Buni, as the acting national chairman of the ruling party.
His demands are contained in a leaked memo circulating online on Wednesday. He hinged his decision on the recent judgement of the seven justices of the Supreme Court in the case challenging the candidacy of Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Mr Akeredolu’s nomination form was signed by the Yobe State helmsman whom the apex court ruled was constitutionally unfit to be chairman of the party because he is a sitting governor.
The Supreme Court refused to nullify the re-election of the Ondo governor largely because his Yobe counterpart was not joined in the suit filed by Eyitayo Jegede and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The little technical point that saved Gov AKEREDOLU was that Jegede failed to join GOV. Mai Mala Buni in the suit,” Mr Keyamo noted. “Jegede was challenging the competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni as a sitting Governor to run the affairs of the APC as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
“He contends that this is 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. In other words, had Buni been joined in the suit, the story may have been different today as we would have lost Ondo State to the PDP,” he added.
He said the technicality found therein in the judgement may string chains of suits from APC members to question the legitimacy of the 13 month old interim leadership of Mr Buni to organise congresses and national convention.
“These include any subsequent election matter in any part of this country and all the APC congresses that are about to hold.
“The Supreme Court has just weaponised all those that would be aggrieved by the APC congresses to proceed to court to Challenge the competence of the Buni-led CECPC to organise the congresses and national convention.
“The judiciary will subsequently destroy the entire structure of the party from bottom to top. We are lucky the Supreme Court has just given us a great and useful hint to save our party just before the beginning of our congresses.
“We cannot gamble with this delicate issue. The time to act is NOW.”
“The planned Congresses across the country slated for this weekend must immediately be suspended because it will be an exercise in futility as analysed above. The competence of Gov. Mai Mala Buni to organise the congresses has been called to question by the Supreme Court,” he said, calling for an urgent NEC meeting to appoint new interim leadership, anyone holding any executive position in any government establishment.
“Alternatively, the Board of Trustees of the Party, which includes Mr. President, can be activated to organise a National Convention in line with Article 13 of the APC Constitution where it is given such powers. Those powers can be delegated at the meeting to a Committee in line with the APC Constitution which will run the Party and plan the Convention. The new Exco can then plan for Congresses,” he advised.