By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS—THE All Progressives Congress, APC, Ward C, in Mushin local government area has urged the leadership of the party to suspend the party’s National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire, for 10 years following allegations against him by party members.
Banire, however, shunned an invitation to appear before a disciplinary committee set up by APC Mushin Ward C, as efforts to get across to him proved abortive as calls put across to his telephone could not go through.
Scores of party members from Mushin APC Ward C converged the venue of the committee sitting in the area as early as 9 am with the hope that Banire would appear and defend himself.The Committee had summoned Banire to appear before its sitting by 10am, yesterday at Bishop Aggey Memorial School, Ilasamaja, Mushin to defend allegations contained in a petition written against him by two members of the party in the area, Messrs Olukayode Tunde Tolu and Ayodeji Adebayo. Addressing the gathering, secretary of the committee, Alhaji Laide Badru said Banire was duly served the invitation to appear and that the committee got proof that the invitation was received.
Badru said: “We sent the invitation to him by courier and we got a receipt, which is proof that he got our invitation. Also we published the invitation in major newspapers as well as other prominent platforms. So we are sure he was aware.”
Also speaking, a former member of the House of Representatives and counsel to the committee, Dr Wunmi Bewaji assured that the committee would be fair even in Banire’s absence. Bewaji said: “We will be fair even though we cannot force anybody to appear before the committee. We will be fair.”
In his remarks, one of the two members who had petitioned Banire, Mr Olukayode Tolu,, said though he co-authored the petitions that led to the setting up of the committee, all members of the ward supported his action.
Tolu noted that the party’s National Legal Adviser had abandoned his ward and had not paid any dues for the past two years, adding that “the ward is the most important component of the structure of any party. Yes, you can be at the National level, but the ward is the most important.
“Banire has not attended any meeting at the ward for the past two years and he has not paid any dues. Also, his activities shortly before the last council election in the state, smacked of anti-party. He took the party to court over alleged imposition of chairmanship candidate in Mushin,” one of the petitioner said.
In addition, he said; “He (Banire) even insulted the leadership of the party in the state and was behaving as if he was bigger than the party. And how can you claim to be a member of the party and you did not vote in the last council election in your ward? Banire cannot claim to be above the rest of us and that is why I pray this committee to uphold the discipline that is the trademark of the party. On behalf of all APC members in Mushin Ward C, I prayed the committee to suspend him from the party for 10 years and that he should never be allowed to hold any position in the party again.”
In the petition, the petitioners urged that Banire be suspended from the party and barred from holding any party office as well as contesting office on the platform of the party for a period of ten years.
They alleged that aside the fact that Banire had been continuously absent from ward meetings for more than two years contrary to Article 9 (2) (iii) of the party’s Constitution, he has also engaged in unrestrained media campaigns against the party, its organs, leaders and functionaries, a development calculated to embarrass the party and bring it into disrepute contrary to Article 9 (2) (I) of the Constitution.