….Panel, another wasteful exercise-Banire
National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Muiz Banire, on Monday failed to appear before the Disciplinary Committee set up by the party in Ward C of Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State to hear allegations of anti-party activities and misappropriation of campaign materials and logistics leveled against him.
The Committee had allegedly summoned Banire to appear before its sitting by 10am on Monday 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, Mr Olukayode Tunde Tolu and Mr Ayodeji Adebayo.
As early as 7am, members of the party in the area started trooping to the venue of the sitting, while the members of the Panel waited till about 11:20am before commencing the business of the day.
In his introductory remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Mr Bolaji Abass, who first introduced other members who included Mr Laide Badru (Secretary), Mr Wunmi Bewaji (General Counsel) and Mrs Muinat Mustapha, said the function of the Committee was simply to examine the allegations against Banire by concerned members of the party, just as he assured that the Committee would be fair in arriving at its decision which would then be submitted to the Ward Executive of the party for onward delivery to the Local Government and then State Executive of APC.
The Secretary of the Committee (Badru) then called the petitioners and respondent (Banire), but while the petitioners were at the proceedings, Banire was conspicuously absent.
Badru later displayed copies of advertorials in two national dailies and evidence of receipt of courier letter inviting Banire for the sitting.
In his testimony before the Committee, Olukayode said Banire had committed grievous atrocities against the party and had carried out series of acts of indiscipline, which must not go unpunished.
Also Adebayo said it was such acts of indiscipline exhibited by Banire that caused the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) electoral defeat.
According to him, “Party discipline and party loyalty made APC what it is today. Whatever the decision of the party is, it is binding on all members and if a member goes against the party, there must be sanction.”
In the petition, the petitioners are asking that Banire be suspended from the party and debarred 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 been engaging in unrestrained media campaigns against the party, its organs, leaders and functionaries, a development deliberately calculated to embarrass the party and bring it into disrepute contrary to Article 9 (2) (I) of the Constitution.
The petition reads in part: “That the member (Banire) has openly been encouraging and inciting Court actions against the party, its organs and functionaries when internal dispute resolution mechanisms have not been explored or exhausted contrary to Article 21 (A) (ii) of the Constitution.
“The member (Banire) has been conducting himself in such a way and manner as to constitute a distraction to the good policies and programmes of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari contrary to Article 21 (A) (ii) of the Constitution.
“That the member (Banire), collected campaign “materials and logistics” – for the 2015 general elections and the recent local government elections without deploying, disbursing or applying same for the benefit of the party. He has failed to pay, as at when due or howsoever, party dues and levies,” they alleged among many other allegations.
“That the member (Banire) has been conducting himself and continues to conduct himself in such a way and manner as could jeopardize, endanger or damage the electoral fortunes of the party and the party brand contrary to Article 21 (A) (ii) of the Constitution.”
However, responding when contacted by an online media, Banire described those who issued the summons as “liars” and that invitation was “another wasteful exercise.”
He said, “Go and find out from the ward executive or the local government executive. It is the same set of miscreants masquerading as party members,” said Mr. Banire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“For your information, the ward exco is led by Bunmi Church whilst the Local Government is led by Aremo Kufisile.
“Firstly, they (Mr. Olaide and co) are not APC members. Secondly, assuming without conceding that they are, they lack the capacity to even invite me legally. Thus, I cannot dignify such miscreants with my presence,” he said.
“Remember that the National have even nailed the issue. It’s a dead issue. They should go to court if they are displeased.”