Limitations Of APC’s Legality To Expel Banire
Muiz Banire versus APC in the eyes of Nigeria News.
Last week, the executives of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ilasamaja Ward, Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos announced the suspension of the National Legal Adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire.
His offence was that he caused chaos in the last local government election in the state that led to the rescheduling of the local government poll in the Mushin area.
The ward APC sent a letter to the local government level where the executives instilled a stiffer penalty of expulsion on Banire and also recommended to the state APC, led by Chief Dele Ajomale to sanction the national legal adviser.
Banire reacted swiftly as he advised those who had sanctioned him to go and read the constitution of the party to acquaint themselves with the rules and the limits of their legality in punishing him for an offence he never committed.
Banire who himself is a lawyer got into the present situation when he lashed out at a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to stop imposing candidates on the party.
He spoke in an interview published in a national newspaper that the idea of imposing candidates on local government was bad, calling on Tinubu and other party executives in the state to desist.
He went further to say that the formula had ruined developments in the grassroots because the chairmen and councilors were not always accountable to the people who purportedly elected them but the cabals who imposed them.
He was criticized by the Lagos State Chairman of APC, Ajomale who described him as an ingrate.
Ajomale said that Banire is a beneficiary of the formula he is castigating and that his current position as the National Legal Adviser is a very good example of politics of imposition.
Going by the recommendation for his expulsion, Banire said that the APC Lagos had no constitutional power to suspend him not to talk of expulsion.
He stated that only the national body of the party could terminate his appointment as its legal adviser and as a national officer, any plot against him at the state level would amount to effort in futility.
Perhaps because of his legal background and his response to the party’s plot, three members of the party quickly filed a case at the Lagos State High Court seeking the expulsion of Banire from APC.
The suit was filed by the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly alongside two other party members, Alhaji Kazeem Olatunji and Babatunde Kehinde.
In the suit filed through their lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, the plaintiffs alleged that Banire had flouted Articles 12.3, 12.4, and 12.5 of the APC Constitution 2014, among other provisions of the law and should be expelled.
The plaintiffs alleged that Banire, sometime in December 2015, “orchestrated forgery by facilitating the use of false document by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.”
Hon. Eshinloku Sanni Wasiu, who is the first plaintiff in the suit, rightly claimed that the alleged forgery was intended to rob him of the victory he got at the December 2014 APC primary for the Lagos State House of Assembly by substituting his name with that of Hakeem Masha, who was the first runner-up in the primary.
According to him, Banire submitted Masha’s name to INEC instead of Sanni but with the intervention of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos, the real winner was returned by INEC.