President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo to meet with all ministers who are lawyers in his cabinet following the crisis currently rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC has been on a slippery and uneasy edge for days following tension arising from controversies on how the ruling of the Supreme court on the Rotimi Akeredolu Vs Eyitayo Jegede case affects the party and its national leadership going forward.
The minority ruling of the apex court last week questioned the legality of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mai Mala Buni, who is the serving governor of Yobe State.
The matter has had party chieftains split on different interpretations of the verdict and generated worry of an incoming war. Many fear that critics of the party’s leadership may see this as an opportunity to drag the party to court.
Many of the state chapters of the party were still in the grip of tension as of Friday night amid preparations for the ward congresses the following day, Saturday, July 31.
Sequel to Buhari’s directive, Osinbajo summoned a session with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), Works Minister Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN) and Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed to discuss the status of the CECPC chairman and whether the party should proceed with the ward congresses beginning Saturday.
According to sources familiar with the matter, a majority of those at the meeting “spoke in the right direction and supported the suspension of the congresses in order to avoid any consequence on the party’s fortunes in 2023.
“They also favoured a proposal to ask Buni to step aside in the light of the judgment.
“But Malami at the meeting said there won’t be any legal or constitutional obstacles if Buni leads the caretaker committee to conduct the congresses. They were of the strong opinion that the judgment does not affect the status of Buni or APC.
“Those concerned also pleaded that Buni should not be disgraced out of his seat. They demanded an ingenuous way of resolving the aftermath of the judgment of the Supreme Court.”
Osinbajo is expected to report to Buhari, who is to decide, based on the recommendations, whether or not the ward congresses should go on.
But as at the time of filing this report, we could not verify if Osinbajo had related the committee’s research and congresses went ahead as planned in some states.