No fewer than 100 aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, have sued the party and its Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, before the Federal High Court in Abuja over the continued stay in office of members of the committee.
Other defendants in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/938/2021, are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and others.
The plaintiffs contend in their suit that the 13 member-caretaker committee falls short of the constitutionally required 24 members spread across not less than two-third of the 36 States and the FCT for any governing body of a political party, whether substantive or acting, as stipulated under Section 223(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The 100 APC members, through their lawyer, Mr Samuel Irabor, asked the court to determine whether “the headship of the Caretaker Committee by a sitting Governor holding dual executive offices is prohibited by Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17(4) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended).”
They also want the court to determine “whether the continued stay in office by the state Working Committee and state Executive Committee is not illegal, null and void, being contrary to Chapter 6, Section 47 (1) of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Whether by Article 13(4)(xvi) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended) only the National Working Committee rather than the NEC of the party can constitute a Caretaker Committee in whatever form, nature or guise.
“Whether the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, who administered oath of office on Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State as purported Caretaker Chairman lacks the powers to do so under any provision of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended) as he is neither a member of the National Working Committee or even a member of the NEC of the APC.”
The plaintiffs want the court to answer all the questions in the affirmative.
In the meantime, the case has not been assigned to a judge.