By: Akinloye Oyeniyi.
In my first paper on this series as titled above, I exposed the danger in the All Progressives Congress (APC), going forward with a primary method yet to be approved by the National Executive Committee of the party for the Edo guber poll slated for June 22, 2020; in this second one, I shall be dwelling on the legality of APC waiver as provided in the party’s constitution .
Like it was during run-up to the 2019 general elections which robbed the party some states as fall out of the legal battles that ensued then, the trend seems to be back and again threatening the chances of the party in the forthcoming Edo election.
Subject to Article 31(1) of the party’s constitution, all members of the party in Edo State are qualified to run for the number one position of the state and in the case of persons not otherwise qualified under the above, the National Working Committee according to Article 31(2) may in special circumstances grant a waiver to such persons if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the APC.
In the event of the provisions of the Article 31(2), a person may be granted a waiver only on conditions set out in Article 31(3 i, ii & iii) which says”A person may be granted a waiver only on condition that:i. He or she has not been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction for any criminal offence.
ii. He or she has applied for waiver in writing to the National Working Committee of the Party through his/her appropriate Ward, Local Government Area/Area Council, State, Federal Capital Territory and Zonal Committee.iii. He or she has signed an undertaking to uphold arid implement the manifesto of the party in the event of winning the election.
So, in compliance with Article 31(3 i, ii & iii), APC will have to firstly scrutinise Pastor Ize-Iyamu whose time of joining the party disqualified him from running for the governorship position, thereby making him need a waiver to run, if he has not been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction for any criminal offence.
Secondly, Pastor Ize-Iyamu too will have to apply for the waiver addressed to the National Working Committee, through his Iguododo Ward Executive which will in turn forward to his Orhionmwon Local Government Executive Committee and thereafter to his Edo State Executive Committee which will forward to his South South Executive Committee for onward transmission to the National Working Committee which will table the application before the National Executive Committee of the party for approval as provided in the party constitution.
Lastly, he has to also sign an undertaking to uphold and implement the manifesto of the party in the event of winning the election.
Though, the National Working Committee said it has granted Pastor Ize-Iyamu a waiver, but it is pertinent to say that the party is yet to grant him any and again that the exercise is another illegality in the eyes of the APC Constitution.
So, the waiver having been granted illegally, Pastor Ize-Iyamu in accordance with Article 31(1) still stands disqualified to run for the position until the provisions provided for in the Article 31(3 i, ii & iii) of the APC Constitution are met, otherwise should the National Working Committee go ahead to organise any primary and he emerged as the winner, the legal war/s that will follow will eventually birth another Zamfara outcome.
Akinloye Oyeniyi Legislative Expert and Public Affairs Analyst