A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Niyi Akintola, SAN has disclosed that the position of the Caretaker Committee Chairman and Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC is very sacrosanct stressing that the party’s candidate in the Anambra governorship is on firm ground.
The Senior lawyer who made the disclosure during an emergency briefing held at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, said none of the Justices who led the majority ruling in their judgment state anywhere that members holding political office cannot hold other positions in the party.
He canvassed this position following the backlash trailing the supreme court judgment which states that Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state was validly elected by the party during the last governorship election.
According to him: ” You can take that to the bank. That the position of the National Chairman of our party and the Secretary are sacrosanct. And our members should entertain no fear at all.
Our candidate in Anambra is on very firm ground. The decision of the tribunal upholding the right of any party member including those holding political offices to hold party offices remain sacrosanct
“And that position was affirmed by the court of appeal. And the same position was affirmed by majority judgment yesterday. None of the four justices that gave the majority judgment has anything to say concerning the holding of party office concurrently with political offices.
“By the position of the Supreme Court, they have the right to determine issues without going into the merit. Unlike the lower court trial and court of appeal, it must go into the merit of the matter”, he said.
His erudite lawyer stressed further that the position he is canvassing is based on the records of the court and section 183 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. He said the position of personal opinions expressed by different lawyers doesn’t hold sway in law even though it is freely expressed.
” Everything I have said I based it on court records. It is not a personal opinion. I said I was a lead counsel in the case at the tribunal. I was at the court of appeal. And there was a judgment of the tribunal that says holding of party offices doesn’t contravene the provision of section 183. It is not a question of semantics here. I think we should appreciate that.
” I said there was a judgment of a tribunal that was given and state emphatically after throwing out the petition on our preliminary objection, they now went on to consider the merit of the case.
And said holding party offices doesn’t contravene section 183 of the Constitution. And that position was upheld by the court of appeal. And it was also upheld by the apex court. We are not talking of personal opinions here. W are talking of the decision of the court which we are all bound to obey”, he noted.
He however said lawyers should always appear in court for guidance rather than radio and tv stations thereby misinforming the public on legal matters which they lacked the dept. He cautioned that it will be bad for personal opinions to override court records.