The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the March 26 National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as an empty and meaningless jamboree and asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to attend, monitor or supervise the event.
According to the PDP, INEC would be going outside its statutory mandate under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as emended) and the Electoral Act 2022 by attending or monitoring the APC National Convention.
The party said this in a statement by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, on Thursday.
The statement read, “INEC, being a government agency set up by law, that also draws from the budgetary allocation of the country with respect to superintending over electoral processes and management of political parties, can only superintend over and monitor bodies over which it has mandate to supervise. This presupposes that any such body must be legally operating as a political party under INEC rules and guidelines.
“The APC, having been defunct on December 8, 2020 when it dissolved its national, states as well as local government structures ceases, in the eyes of the law, to be a political party and as such cannot be subject of INEC’s regulations with particular reference to its supposed National Convention.
“For emphasis, the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) was established for the singular purpose of organizing the APC National Convention in 2020. The Committee violated the Constitution and the Electoral Act by engaging in party administration, conducting congresses to produce officers at the various state Chapters as well as delegates for APC National Convention.
“In any event, the CECPC by its composition with a state governor, H.E Mai Mala Buni as Chairman is illegal and unconstitutional by reason of Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution which bars a sitting governor from holding ‘any other executive office in any capacity whatsoever’.
“Article 14 (i) of the APC Constitution, clearly states that the Chairman of the APC ‘shall be the Chief Executive…’ of the party.
“In going beyond its mandate, the CECPC acted ultra vires and all administrative acts purportedly done or deemed to have been done by this Committee are null and void and void ab-initio.
“To this effect, delegates to the APC purported National Convention produced by congresses conducted by the CECPC are at best handicapped delegates with leprous fingers who cannot deliver any vote to produce a valid and legal political leadership for the APC. INEC should therefore not waste public resources to monitor a jamboree that would be of no legal or electoral effect under our laws.
“If the APC had listened to one of its members, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, SAN, who had cautioned that the ‘competence of Governor Mai Mala Buni to organise the congresses has been called to question by the Supreme Court’, it would not have been in this quagmire.”
The PDP further cautioned Nigerians who intend to participate in the electoral process under the APC to be guided as they are on a voyage that leads to nowhere.