Suspension: Banire shuns APC panel sitting
National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire, on Monday refused to honour an invitation to appear before a disciplinary committee set up by his Mushin (Ward C) to probe series of allegations levelled against him by party members.
The APC had, through petitions written by members of the party in Ward C, being alleged of anti-party activities, lack of respect for party elders and presentation of the party in bad light.
After a long wait by hundreds of party members that thronged the venue of the committee sitting as early as 9 am with the hope that Banire would appear and defend himself, the 4-man committee headed by Mr. Bolaji Abbas decided to kick-start the proceeding.
Mr. Olukayode Tolu, one of the two members who had forwarded a petition, denounced Banire’s action during the hearing, saying though he co-wrote the petitions that led to the setting up of the committee, all members of the ward supported his action.
According to him, members of Banire’s ward were equally tired of his activities in the state and the party, hence the petition, accusing the APC National Legal Adviser of being behind sponsoring media campaigns to discredit the party, to which he belonged.
He also accused Banire of having abandoned his ward as he had not paid any dues for the past two years.
“The ward is the most important component of the structure of any party. Yes, you can be at the national level, but the ward is the most important.”
“Banire has not attended any meeting at the ward for the past two years and he has not paid any dues. Also, his activities shortly before the last council election in the state, smacked of anti-party. He took the party to court over alleged imposition of chairmanship candidate in Mushin, which is not true.”
“He even insulted the leadership of the party in the state and was behaving as if he was bigger than the party. And how can you claim to be a member of the party and you did not vote in the last council election in your ward?”
“Banire cannot claim to be above the rest and that is why I pray this committee to uphold the discipline that is the trademark of the party,” he alleged.
The petitioner, therefore, moved that the committee to suspend the APC chieftain from the party for 10 years and should never be allowed to hold any post in the party again.
“On behalf of all APC members in Mushin Ward C, I pray the committee to suspend him from the party for ten years and that he should never be allowed to hold any post in the party again,” he moved.
The co-petitioner, Mr Ayodele Adebayo, also supported everything that was said, while he equally endorsed the prayer on Banire.
A former member of the House of Representatives and counsel to the committee, Dr. Wunmi Bewaji, while struggling to control anti-Banire chants that had rented the air, assured that the committee would deliberate on the issue and come up with a recommendation, adding that the committee would be fair even in Banire’s absence.
According to him, the committee will do a thorough job, consistent with the facts on ground.
“We will be fair even though we cannot force anybody to appear before the committee. We will be fair,” he said, adding that the committee would do its work without hindrance and that the recommended action would be out soon.
Earlier, secretary of the committee, Alhaji Laide Badru, had told the gathering that Banire was duly served invitation to appear and that the committee got proof that the invitation was received.
“We sent the invitation to him by DHL and we got a receipt, which is proof that he got our invitation.”
“Also we published the invitation in major newspapers as well as other prominent platforms. So we are sure he is aware,” he said.
It would be recalled that the party in the ward had a few weeks ago announced the suspension of Banire over the same allegations, while the APC National Working Committee had nullified the suspension, saying the ward exco lacked the power to suspend a national officer.
Banire, in his reaction, had dismissed the move, describing his suspension as laughable, saying it was aimed at stopping him from insisting on internal democracy in the state chapter.