Buni not qualified to be APC caretaker chairman

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) national executive council (NEC) meeting may have come and gone, but the twists from that event are still unfolding.

The meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, was held at the federal executive council (FEC) chamber.

By using the chamber, which is usually for official government meetings, Buhari drew the ire of many Nigerians and groups including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which accused him of violating his oath of office.

But the issue is not just about the venue; there are also concerns about the proceedings such as the swearing-in of Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe state, as the APC caretaker committee chairman.

The NEC meeting was not called according to laid-down rules, according to members of the dissolved NWC, because the mandatory seven-day notice was not issued.

But Buni said it was a continuation of the March meeting that was postponed.

Buni was appointed the chairman of the caretaker committee which will run the affairs of the party pending when it elects new officials.

But his appointment is seen as a clear violation of the APC constitution which forbids officers of the party from holding any executive position in government.

Section four under article 17 reads: “No officer in any organ of the Party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently.”

The legal logic is that if you are not qualified to hold a substantive position, then you are not qualified to act.

This is contained in sections 11 (1) and (2) of the Nigerian interpretations act of 2004.

Also, by letting Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of the federation (AGF), swear in Buni, the APC also violated another provision of its constitution which states how party officers should be sworn in.

Article 29 of the party’s constitution forbids its officials from taking oath of office before any person other than “an appropriate principal officer of the party.”

The article reads: “Every Officer elected or appointed as an officer of the Party shall subscribe to the Oath of Office as provided in Schedule II to this Constitution before an appropriate Principal Officer of the Party as may be approved by the National Working Committee.”

Is Malami a principal officer of the party? Not by any stretch, according to the party’s constitution.

In a statement on Saturday by Umar Gwandu, Malami’s spokesperson, the AGF said it is not out of place for him to administer oath of office on anyone whether at the federal level, political or to private individuals.

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