The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay has expressed doubts about the physical ability of the new APC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu to Chair the Party.
In an interview with Independent, Sagay described Adamu as an Old man just like himself and wondered if he has the vigour the lead the ruling party through this electioneering season.
He said; “I know Senator Abdullahi Adamu very well as Nasarawa state governor from 1999 to 2007. He must be an old man like myself. That is my main worry whether he will have the vigour to do the job. I think the matter should be thrown open so people will be in a position to assess him whether he can do the job or not.”
Also speaking on the controversy surrounding the participation of political appointees in the coming election in light of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Sagay described the provision as an attempt by the National Assembly to amend the Constitution through statute. A move he described as unacceptable.
“I have always been in support of the president’s view that Section 84 (12) is illegal, null and void. What that section is trying to do is that it is trying to add to what is already in the constitution. The law is very clear that once the constitution contains a provision, you cannot alter, add, subtract from it. Even if you make another enactment that is exactly like that, it is still illegal not to talk of now trying to extend it.
What they have done is that they have created a situation in which political appointees have to step down from their position before primaries. Whereas, the constitution is saying you can only step down one month to the actual election between parties.
So, there is a major difference here. If you look at the situation now, for example, if the APC presidential primary is held in May and the presidential election will take place in February 2023; if you follow the constitution as it is, any political appointee who wants to contest as president can resign in January 2023, that is a month to the election. But under the amendment which the national assembly is trying to do unconstitutionally by amending the constitution under an ordinary bill, such a person will have to resign before May 2022. So, the level of amendment and tampering with the constitution is just too huge. In my view, this is unacceptable”
When asked about the APC’s adoption of the consensus method for the recently held APC National Convention and if same should be used for the Presidential primary.
He said the issue of a consensus presidential candidate, is provided for by the law. He also added that the law however states clearly that all the candidates must agree in writing to the person picked as the consensus candidate.
“I think I prefer that because it means if they all agreed in writing, then nobody can go to court to challenge the outcome after the consensus candidate has been adopted. Now, what this means in effect is that if everybody does not sign accepting that particular candidate, then the election remains open for everybody to contest. That is the implication of not agreeing to the choice of a consensus candidate. If by tomorrow, even if the president’s preferred aspirant does not have the written endorsement of all the aspirants to become the consensus candidate, then the election will be thrown open so as not to invalidate the decision of the party”.