This article examines the the legality or otherwise of the Letter purported written by Victor Gaidom,just after the Primary Elections in Edo State.
By:Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.
The All Progressives Party (APC), is a Body Corporate that runs on its Constitution .
The Constitution of the APC provides per Article 13.3 that the National Executive Committee of the APC shall be the Principal Executive Body of the Party.
In Article 13.3(I) ,the APC Constitution stipulates that the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC shall be binding on all Organs and Members of the Party .
The National Executive Committee of the APC Met in a Meeting attended by the same Victor Gaidom and the NEC ratified the Primary Election of Pastor Osagie Ize-,Iyamu that returned him as the Candidate of the APC in the September 19th ,2020 Edo Guber Elections and Ordered the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee ,set up at the said NEC Meeting ,led by Governor Buni of Yobe State to forward his name to INEC as the Party’s Candidate for the Edo State Gubernatorial Elections.
Article 13.3 (vi) States that the APC NEC shall:
Create,elect and appoint any committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions it may deem fit and proper
In furtherance of this Power ,the NEC of APC Created the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee and imbued it with the Power to submit the name of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to INEC as the APC Candidate for the said Election.
Victor Gaidom was present as a Member of the National Working Committee ,led by the then Chairman-Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that received the Results of the Primaries from the APC Edo Guber Primaries Organising Committee led by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State .He did not protest at that time .It is trite Law that:
Volenti non fit injuria
That which you consent to c,an not be considered an Injury.
Victor Gaidom’s Purported Letter therefore is a worthless sheet of paper ,that is not even worth the paper it was typed .It has the same value as a tiolet paper .
As it the time Gaidom wrote the Letter ,there was an existing National Working Committee of the APC which disavowed the purported Letter of Gaidom as they indicated that he was on his own .
Gaidom was not APC and APC was not Gaidom.
There was no Meeting of any National Organ of the APC ,where the decision for Gaidom to write the Letter was reached .As at the time Gaidom wrote the purported letter the Exparte Order got by him earlier in the year had expired .The extension of the Exparte Order came after Gaidom had written the Letter .So as at the time he wrote the Letter in the eyes of the Law ,he was the National Assistant Secretary of the All Progressives Congress and he therefore lacks any such powers to write any such Letter .
Article 13.3 (ii) of the APC Constitution States that the Party’s NEC shall:
Discharge all functions of the National Convention as Constituted in between National Conventions
This means that the NEC can appoint and elect National Officers as they have currently done by setting up the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee .The argument that only the National Convention that can appoint or elect National Officers,becomes mute and academic by this provision of the APC Constitution.
The issue itself is no longer a life issue .It is Statute Barred .Gaidom wrote the said Letter in late June,2020.Any one that would Initiative a Proceedings had 14 days to do so according to Section 285 (9) of the Constitution.
Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution is clear on this point . This Section provides thus :
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, every pre-election matter shall be filed not later than 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, decision or action complained of in the suit
By the Provisions of Section 285 (9) of the Constitution any cause of action on this issue is statute-barred .No legal proceedings can be commenced in respect of same, because the period laid down by the limitation law has terminated and the issue is therefore no longer justiciable .
This article is the final nail in the coffin of the ill-fated Gaidom Letter that is consigned to the dustbin of time .