…Says minister second-guessing S-Court decision

By Innocent Anaba

Former Senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district, Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has faulted Minister of State, Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo’s position on the Governor Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress, APC, saying that his views would lead to ‘self-immolation’.

Abe in a statement, yesterday, expressed surprise over Keyamo’s stance on the matter, especially his insistence that the APC must immediately halt all preparations for the forthcoming congresses and disband the planning committee.

He noted that Keyamo’s argument premised on his interpretation of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Jegede Vs Akeredolu was baseless since the defence of Buni, who is the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, of the party was never heard.

According to Abe, most members of the APC accepted the reality of the CECPC as a decision of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party with President Muhammadu Buhari as leader of the party in attendance.

He noted that party leaders who had reservations about the constitution of the CECPC were informed that the decision to establish the committee was reached only after extensive legal examination of the issues confronting the APC at that time by a body of eminent lawyers in leadership positions in the APC .

Abe explained that ironically, Keyamo was one of the legal luminaries whose stand swayed the president to support the CECPC option as the only means to save the party from imminent self-destruction at the time.

“That is why I was taken aback by the quick and sudden volte-face of Keyamo in the face of Jegede vs Akeredolu. There is a popular saying that sometimes where you stand on an issue is determined by where you sit.

“The Buni- led caretaker committee in the determined effort to reposition the party and carry out its difficult assignment, has adjusted the seating arrangements in a lot of states and this may explain the stand that some party leaders will take on this issue.

But it is important that we deal with facts and the law.”
Further, he said: “With all due respect to my friend, Keyamo, he was merely second-guessing the Supreme Court when he gave the impression or suggested, based on his understanding and interpretation of the said judgment, that any legal challenge against Buni, must succeed, no matter the circumstances of the challenge.

“This is simply incorrect. No two cases are the same. The Supreme Court itself wisely declined to make a pronouncement against Buni on the ground that he was not joined and not heard.

“Since the surrounding circumstances have not been made known to the Supreme Court for which it rightly declined to condemn Buni unheard, it’s preposterous to second-guess the court on that,” he added.


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