The governing All progressive congress (APC) has inaugurated a ten man technical committee led by Governor Simon Lalong to look into the legal implications of the recent decision to extend tenure of the party’s National Working Committee ( NWC) and other executives at all levels.
The committee is also expected to look into President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand against the process.
The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun while inaugurating the committee at the Party’s Secretariat on Tuesday in Abuja, said some of the issues that have been remitted to the committee for resolution are strongly legal, adding that the matter also impacted dramatically on political considerations.
He said: “Your job is to bring these two together and advice us on the way we can implement our activities in the next few weeks and months in a way that is politically advantageous to our party, the APC and the same time face due difference to the niceties of the law.
“We must observe the law and at the same time emphasize that we try to do things that will be advantageous to the party. We will furnish you with all the documents like the resolutions of NEC, the party’s constitution and the Nigeria constitution to help you do a good job.
“You are also at liberty to request for additional material like the statement of Mr. President during the last NEC meeting and every other thing to guide you achieve the task you are about to undertake. I am praying, hoping that this is the kind of thing you can accomplish in about three to four days.
“Getting answers from you is crucially time sensitive and depending on which way you advice, we may have to put in motion very serious activities in the party virtually within a week of getting the report and taking decisions. I thank you for accepting this onerous assignment and wish you the very best of luck”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the committee, Simon Lalong faulted the notion that the talks centered on the National Leader of the Party Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is opposed to the tenure elongation decision.
“The discussion has nothing to do with Tinubu. His name was not mentioned in that discussion. The discussion was a NEC decision on the way forward on the position of the President who is also a member of NEC and that was subjected to discussion.
So the issue of whether it is satisfying somebody is not there. Our decision is not going to be final. We will only advice NEC on the issue”.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, said the controversy was needless since NEC did not extend the tenure of the Oyegun led NWC and party officials across the country.
According to him: “Let me let everybody know that the issue has nothing to do with tenure elongation. You journalists are the ones to advice or lead in the discussions. By law, nobody can extend their tenure. The usage of that word is totally wrong.
“There was no time at our NEC meeting that we took the decision to get their tenure elongated. There was a clear resolution of NEC and all it asked is for the existing committee to remain in acting capacity at the expiration of their tenure.
“We cannot in law extend their tenure but we can have them work in an acting capacity or work as caretaker for some time not over twelve months. That on its own is not tenure elongation. It is not the intention of APC to elongate anybody’s tenure”, he added.
Other members of the committee includes the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, Governor Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (Kaduna), Senator Ben Uwajomogu, Rep Kabiru Ajana, Mr Elisha Kurah (SAN), Mr C.J.N Dakas (SAN) and the National Legal Adviser of the party, Muiz Banire who is also the secretary of the committee.