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APC Reacts To Supreme Court Ruling On Buni-Led Caretaker Committee

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has argued the Supreme Court ruling on Ondo Governorship election validated the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).

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It stated the ruling clarified Buni’s position as acting chairman of the Committee is not contrary to the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution.

The party said the Apex Court affirmed the position is held temporarily, which is not akin to Executive office or paid employment as envisaged by Section 183 of the Constitution.

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The legality of Buni’s leadership has been subjected to different interpretations of the recently delivered judgment of the Apex Court on the Ondo Governorship Election in favor of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Akeredolu secured a slim 4-3 victory over his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenger, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) at the Apex Court.

A member of the CECPC, Prof. Tahir Mamman SAN, showed select newsmen extract of the ruling as they affect the committee.

He pointed out the apex court held “the law is and remain that the provisions that govern sponsorship and nomination of candidates in an election are: Sections 31 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

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“That there is no provision in the Electoral Act prescribing any form for forwarding or submission of the sponsored candidate of a political party in an election.

“Sections 177 and 182 of the CFRN which make provisions for qualifications and disqualification of candidates for Governorship election are exhaustive and leave no room for any addition.

“That no other Law/Act can be relied upon to disqualify a candidate in an election save for the provisions of Section 182 of the CFRN.

“That non-compliance with INEC directives (regulations, guidelines or manuals) for the purpose of the election but which is not contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act shall not of itself be ground in an election petition.

“Paragraph 17 (a) of the First Supplementary to Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections cannot be relied upon as ground to question the return of a candidate in an election.

“That sponsorship of a candidate in an election is that of the party and not the individual Officer of the party forwarding the name of the candidate.

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“That the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party is empowered to create, elect and appoint Committees (including the instant CECPC) or any other committee it may deem necessary to act in any capacity.

“On the strength of all the above position of the Supreme Court in the instant case and other earlier decided cases cited in support, it is our opinion that the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni is on firm ground to proceed with its mandate as given by the National Executive Committee of the APC.”

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