Eze Dismisses Ignorance of Misinterpreters of Supreme Court Judgment

Following the litany of conflicting interpretations that heralded the Judgement of the Supreme Court over the Governorship of Ondo State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has made public his opinion, throwing his weight behind the Mai Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress.

Recall that some highly placed individuals and famous Nigerian Lawyers, including the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo SAN., had proffered an argument which puts the legitimacy of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to question.

Keyamo and those who towed his line of argument presented the seamless and unambiguous judgement of Court as nuance and oblique, thus building a pedestal on which their controversial and conflict-ridden argument is anchored.

In their various exasperating hassle, they warned the party to halt the planned congresses, disband the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and reconstitute a fresh one.

Their abrasive contention is premised on the reasoning that as a sitting Governor, Mai Buni’s chairmanship offends Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and thus could jeopardize the chances of the party to feature in the 2023 elections as all actions taken by him on behalf of the party would definitely amount to nullity when brought to test before the court.

Reacting to the issue, Chief Eze, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, who spoke from sickbed, said whatever be the intention of Keyamo and his legal chums for holding such opinion and making a quick kick therewith in a manner lacking restraint and careful discernment, the need to correct the much speculated self-opinion is necessary in order to call public attention to the reality of issue.

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According to the said Section 183 (CFRN) 1999, “The governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.”

According to the APC chieftain, the said section 183 captured above, does not controvert the position of Buni as Chairman of an ad-hoc Committee of the party, constituted by the National Executive Council (NEC), in line with the party’s constitution for a specific task within a defined period, given that the nature of the position he occupies does not fall in the referred category and thus, is obviously an implied fundamental exception to whatever meaning and interpretation that could be ascribed thereto.

Further, the party chief said the party’s Director of Legal Services, Dare Oketade Esq. made it categorically clear during cross-examination in Jegede v Akeredolu, that as Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC, Buni’s engagement is  neither executive nor salaried and thus does not offend the spirit of Section 183 as is being speculated.

He commended the party for ignoring the careless misstatements of political desperados who are plotting to plunge the party into crisis in a bid to frustrate and make nonsense the efforts of the Buni’s committee in restoring sanity and repositioning the party for better electoral results.

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Eze highlighted that the efforts of the misinterpreters promoting the trending bad blood, are aimed at nothing but resuscitation of the dead National Working Committee of Adams Oshiomhole which bad situation cannot be remedied in this dispensation considering the seriousness of the times. “This plot is dead on arrival,” he stated.

Congratulating the party for successful Ward congresses across the country, Eze appealed to aggrieved members to utilize the internal dispute resolution mechanisms within the party to resolve all grievances arising from the exercise, noting that the decision of the party remains supreme.

He commended the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who affirmed that the actions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) as regards the conduct of the Congresses is backed by law regardless of the fears raised by stakeholders of the party over the Supreme Court decision on Ondo gubernatorial election.

Eze described Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State as a true reflection of a patriot leadership and thought on political issues demonstrates the level of wisdom God has installed in him. “For vehemently disagreeing with Keyamo and others and maintaining a stand shows that he is a leader that others can emulate”.

While he expressing his stand during the State stakeholders meeting held at Ecumenical Centre, Abkaliki on Friday, Umahi maintained that, there is no ambiguity in the section of the party’s constitution that provides for the constitution of a caretaker committee where there is a vacancy in the organs of the Party and it did not require anybody to be a lawyer to understand the constitution of the party provided you went to school.

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First is to comment on the contentious issue about our dear national Chairman. I want you to listen to this very well. I am not a lawyer, but this constitution of the party is made for all of us. And if you went to school you will be able to read and understand, because if the constitution of the party was meant for only lawyers, then, it should have been on a limited number.

The constitution of the APC states that where the vacancy exists in any organ of the party that the national executive committee can set up a caretaker committee; the word is the caretaker committee, it is like an ad-hoc committee, a standing committee, and that is what the national caretaker committee is..”.

With the stands of Malami, Umahi, Gov Sule, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, HE., Ovie Omo Agege, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Sen. Ojudu and others, which offers a better direction on the controversy generated from some quarters over the Supreme Court Judgment, one need not be afraid of what the future portends for our great party.

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