The Attorney General Abubakar Malami has countered the call for the chairman of the caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, to resign.
The call was made recently by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and some other People Democratic People members, but Malami has countered it in what appeared to be cracks within the Muhammadu Buhari government.
This was conveyed in a statement released on Thursday as Malami, who laid out his argument in a 20-point against the decision reached by the Supreme Court, described the interpretation of the 1999 Constitution as “stretched.”
“Therefore, it is shocking that the interpretation of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution, in light of the above-quoted decision of the Supreme Court, could be stretched in some quarters to state that chairmanship of an ad-hoc committee duly constituted by the National Executive Committee of a registered political party (by a registered member of the Party) could constitute paid employment or an executive position as envisaged under Section 183 of the Constitution,” Malami wrote.
The Supreme Court judgment in the Ondo State governorship election appeal involving Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and PDP’s Eyitayo Jegede, ended with the judges agreeing that it was illegal for Mr Buni to be the governor of Yobe State and also hold an elective position.
The 4-3 split judgment by the judges dismissed Jegede’s appeal holding that he did not join Buni in the suit where he is centre to.
Malami who dismissed Keyamo’s concerns noted that the draftsmen of the Constitution would not have considered the position Buni holds as an elective position due to its meritless nature.
“To further show the meritless nature of the position under review, assuming without conceding that the argument is right, then, it will equally be contrary to the spirit and intent of Section 183 of the Constitution for any sitting Governor to be Chairman of say the Governors’ Forum, Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, or any other similar body. This, in my humble view, can definitely not be the intention of the drafters of the 1999 Constitution.”
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Keyamo, had called on Buni to resign immediately, following the apex court’s judgement.
He said the decision reached by judges of the court could be weaponised by persons aggrieved by the APC congresses and could challenge the competence of the Buni-led CECPC to organise the congresses and National Convention.