The ranks and file of factions in the crisis-ridden All Progressives Congress, APC, were further thrown into shock and confusion yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari intervened by throwing his weight behind the Chief Victor Giadom-led faction of APC.
The President approved the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting summoned by the court-recognized Acting National Chairman, Mr. Giadom, and promised to attend the meeting billed for today.
However, the President’s intervention appears to have added fuel to the raging inferno as members of the factional Acting National Chairman, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, have declared the NEC meeting illegal and urged members to disregard the notice.
The position of President Buhari was contained in a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja. The statement read: “The President has received very convincing advice on the position of the law as far as the situation in the party is concerned and has determined that the law is on the side of Victor Giadom as acting national chairman. “Because he will always act in accordance with the law, the President will be attending the virtual meeting Giadom called for tomorrow (today’s) afternoon. “We urge the media to stop promoting manufactured controversies and to not give any further room for mischievous interpretations of the law on this matter. “In addition to the President, the Giadom meeting will, hopefully, be attended by our governors and the leaders of the National Assembly.
” Ajimobi’s camp declares meeting illegal In a statement by National Secretary, Arc. Waziri Bulama, which was released through back channels moments before it emerged that President Buhari had endorsed the Giadom-proposed NEC meeting, urged NEC members to disregard the said notice of meeting. The party described President Buhari as a stickler for the rule of law, adding that it cannot be true that the President has thrown his weight behind convening such meeting. The statement read: “We are constrained to once again react to a purported invitation to a National Executive Committee meeting of our great party; the All Progressives Congress issued by one Victor Giadom who until the last general elections in 2019 held the position of the Deputy National Secretary of the Party. “Our esteemed members are advised to disregard this invitation because the author and sole signatory of the said invitation is not a member of the National Working Committee of our party, talk more of being an Acting National Chairman as claimed.
“He had voluntarily resigned in compliance with Article 31(1)(i) of our Constitution to contest the position of Deputy Governor in Rivers State during the last general elections and has not been re-nominated by his Zone to return to that office. “Further, his non-membership of the NWC has been affirmed by the courts and an order restraining him from parading himself as a member of the NWC was granted against him on June 22, 2020 in the case of DELE MOSES & ANOR V APC (SUIT NO: PHC/360/2020) where the court said inter alia: “That an Order of interim injunction be and is hereby made restraining the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Defendants, acting by themselves or through any of their officers, agents, or privies from recognizing or regarding the 3rd Defendant/Respondent as the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman or Deputy National Secretary of the 1st Defendant/Respondent or member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the 1st Defendant/Respondent pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice’. “He has also been suspended by the Rivers State Chapter of our party and the NWC received communication of same on June 21, 2020. “More instructive is the fact that the said invitation copiously references the NEC meeting he illegally sought to convene on March 17, 2020 with a view to resurrecting same to hold on June 25, 2020. Regrettably, this proposed NEC meeting is also infected by the same bug that rendered the former void which is Article 25 (B) of our Constitution which provides: (i) The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-third of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that less than not less than 14 days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned. “ii.
Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.” “It is clear that even a legitimate chairman is only invested with powers to fix/announce a date for NEC meetings to hold every quarter and nothing more. He cannot summon a meeting on that date because under our Constitution only the National Secretary can do so pursuant to Article 14.3 of our Constitution.