Lagos deputy speaker sues Banire over alleged forgery of withdrawal letter

Lagos deputy speaker sues Banire over alleged forgery of withdrawal letter

- The controversy surrounding the All Progressives Congress (APC) national legal adviser, Muiz Banire seems never-ending

- The Lagos state House of Assembly Deputy Speaker has dragged Banire to court

- The lawmaker accused the former Lagos state commissioner of environment of anti-party activities and breach of constitution

The Deputy Speaker of Lagos state House of Assembly, Honourable Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni has dragged the national legal adviser of the APC, Muiz Banire before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja. gathered that the lawmaker's action is over an alleged forgery of his purported withdrawal letter from the 2015 election into Lagos Island Constituency 1 of the House.

Sanni, who filed the suit alongside two APC chieftains – Babatunde John Kehinde and Alhaji Kazeem Olatunji, is asking the court to declare Banire as not a fit and proper person to keep occupying the exalted office of the party’s national legal adviser.

He also accused Banire of a series of anti-party activities and breach of several provisions of the APC constitution.

Lagos deputy speaker sues Banire over alleged forgery of withdrawal letter
Honourable Sanni accused Banire of anti-party activities. Photo credit:

In a 37-paragraph supporting affidavit detailing Banire’s atrocities, Sanni averred that having scaled through the nomination and screening of aspirants processes, he contested the primaries of APC on December 2, 2014 along with seven other aspirants and emerged as the party’s candidate for election into Lagos Island Constituency 1 of the House of Assembly by pooling 186 votes out of the total number of 279 valid votes cast, with his closest rival, one Akeem Masha pooling a distant 70 votes.

Sanni said upon the announcement of his name as the winner of the primaries by the party, he received several congratulatory messages including from the then APC flag bearer for the 2015 governorship election in the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode (now governor), while the party issued him with the nomination form as its candidate for the election.

However, Sanni said in gross violation of his legal right as the duly elected candidate of the party, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully substituted his name with that of Masha as the candidate of the party for the election based on a false withdrawal letter caused to be written by Banire in his capacity as national legal adviser to INEC.

He stated that the withdrawal letter dated January 9, 2015 had his purported signature and name, and there was no time he wrote such.

Dissatisfied with the development, Sanni approached the Federal High Court in Lagos and in a judgment in suit with reference number FHC/L/CS/34/2015, Justice Mohammed Buba upheld the reliefs sought and ordered his reinstatement as the lawful candidate of the APC.

Sanni said ever since Banire unlawfully substituted his name and caused a purported withdrawal letter to be written, the party was yet to set any machinery in motion for him to explain or justify why the letter was written, adding that by the development, Banire had betrayed the confidence reposed in him as the national legal adviser and his standing as a legal practitioner, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a bencher.

Besides, Sanni accused Banire of involving in series of anti-party activities and breach of several provisions of APC Constitution such as Article 21 (a) (ii), Article 21 (a) (v), Article 21 (a) (v), among others.

He also said that Banire, in breach of Article 21 (a) (x) of the party’s constitution, filed an action in court against the chairman and other principal officers of the APC in Lagos state without first exhausting all avenues provided for in the constitution of the party.

Lagos deputy speaker sues Banire over alleged forgery of withdrawal letter
Banire has been at loggerheads with APC leaders in Lagos state in recent times. Photo credit:

Based on the foregoing, Sanni is asking the court for a declaration that having breached the established legal principles but not limited to the provisions of the APC Constitution (2014), Banire be removed as the national legal adviser and a declaration that he is entitled to be expelled from the party or vacate office with immediate effect in accordance with Section 21 (d) (v) for the suit he instituted against the state chapter concerning the conduct of primaries for local government election and denouncing the entire process.

In the alternative, Sanni is asking that having regard to the provisions of APC Constitution including but not limited to the fact that the defendant had been engaging in anti-party activities likely to cause a breach of peace amongst the party members, an order should be issued by the court mandating the APC leadership to take appropriate disciplinary measures against Banire.

Meanwhile, Chief John Oyegun-led NWC recently issued a statement nullifying the suspension placed on Banire by the APC in Mushin local government area of Lagos state on the ground that only the national body has the constitutional mandate to suspend a national officer.

READ ALSO: Suspension: I have been vindicated by APC's NWC - Timi Frank

Watch the TV interview with an APC chieftain, Comrade Timi Frank talking about the crisis in the ruling party.


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