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Bayelsa: PDP to review decision on Bruce, others this week

By Rotimi Ajayi
ABUJA — The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is to review its decision on the withdrawal of the provisional clearance given to the former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Mr Ben Murray Bruce, following advice from some legal experts on the issue.

Top party source revealed in Abuja, yesterday, that since the withdrawal of the provisional clearance on the recommendation of the party’s appeal panel headed by former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, the case had been subject of consultation by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The source revealed that Jonathan had requested legal opinion on the issue of dual citizenship, the basis of which Mr Murray Bruce’s clearance to contest the November 19, party gubernatorial primaries was withdrawn.

Governor Sylva, Seriake Dickson and Ben Murray Bruce

 

It was learnt that the president particularly sought to know if the provision of the Constitution in Section 182 could actually be read to deny some Nigerians their right to contest into certain offices in the country.

According to the source, some of the lawyers with whom the President had consulted were said to have said the party had no judicial power to interpret the Nigerian Constitution to the effect that any Nigerian would be denied his or her right to contest.

According to the source, “the President had discussed this opinion with the party’s leadership and this was why the party wrote to the Attorney General of the Federation to provide his advice on the matter.

“We are expecting that at the end of the day, the aspirant will be cleared to contest the primaries because preponderant opinion about section 28 of the Constitution is that he must enjoy the full rights and privileges of a Nigerian citizen.”

The office of the Attorney General is expected to submit its legal view of the issue to the President tomorrow upon resumption from the sallah break.

The source revealed that the party had also sought opinion of its leadership caucus on the issue of waiver which formed the basis of disqualification of the former Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, boss, Mr Timi Alaibe.

He said some state Chairmen of the party had told the national headquarters that granting waivers to those who had left the party to contest elections on other parties and returned to use the platform of the party to contest again would keep destroying the plan of the party to emerge as a disciplined organisation.

The source said:“Some of the Chairmen said those who had left the party to contest election in another party should not be encouraged to keep jumping parties.

They should remain in those parties and develop the parties. This is the only way we can help develop our political parties into real democratic institutions and not mere associations. These are the issues that will be looked into this week notwithstanding that the week is already debited by two days holidays.”

 

 


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