Senators Adamu and Kyari can serve as APC’s chairman and deputy chairman (North) respectively and still retain their Senate seats, Festus Ogun has said Ogun, a constitutional lawyer, said it is not illegal for Senators Adamu and Kyari to serve in both capacities Nevertheless, the renowned lawyer urged the two to resign from Senate and focus on their new jobs, noting that it is impossible for them to efficiently run the two offices simultaneously

On Saturday, March 26, two serving senators were elected into the National Working Committee (NWC) of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Abdullahi Adamu, the senator representing Nasarawa West, was elected, by consensus, as the national chairman of the ruling party.

Senator Abdulllahi Adamu took over the APC leadership from Governor Mai Mala Buni.

Also, Senator Abubakar Kyari who is representing Borno North in the Red Chamber was elected as the deputy national chairman (North).

They were sworn in alongside other members of the NWC on Sunday, March 27.

Weeks after settling into the new roles, the two senators have not resigned from Senate, raising concerns that they were occupying two sensitive political seats concurrently. Commenting on the development, a Twitter user, Galadiman Samaru, @Galadima_Samaru, said: “Clearly the APC chairman and his deputy, senators Adamu Abdullahi and Abubakar Kyari do not want to resign from the senate.

Seeing that a gov led the party for two years, they might be thinking why can’t we as well?” Samaru was making reference to Mai Mala Buni who also chaired the caretaker committee of the APC for two years while also serving as the governor of Yobe state.

In response to Samaru, another Twitter user, Isah Ibrahim, @Isah81Isah, said: “You can not be elected to serve two position at the same time Man.” Senators Adamu, Kyari violated the constitution by not resigning from Senate? Weighing in on the matter, Festus Ogun, a constitutional lawyer, said the senators did not violate the constitution by not resigning.

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He added that there is no constitutional provision that bars a senator from holding any other executive position in any capacity whatsoever.

His words: “While it is desirable that Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Abubakar Kyari resign their offices after their emergence as national executives of the APC, their continuous retention of their Senatorial Seats is not in breach of any law or even the 1999 Constitution.

Morality cannot take the place of law. “To be clear, Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution provides for grounds upon which a senator can vacate office or lose his seat and it does not include the appointment or election of a senator into the National Working Committee of a Political Party.”

The renowned legal practitioner further noted that a senatorial seat is not an executive position. “Well, the Senatorial seat is not an executive position. It is a legislative seat. Moreso, there is no such constitutional provision that bars a Senator from holding any other executive position in any capacity whatsoever.

So, the retention of their Senatorial seats is not unconstitutional,” he added. Adamu’s, Kyari’s case different from that of Governor Buni, says Ogun Speaking further, the constitutional lawyer said Governor Buni’s case is different from that of the senators.

He maintained that Buni’s appointment as APC’s caretaker committee chairman while also serving as governor is illegal.

“This must be clearly differentiated from Governor Buni’s case whose party appointment as Chairman of Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC was illegal and a gross breach of Section 183 of the Constitution which precludes an elected executive Governor from holding any other executive position or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever,”

Ogun told our correspondent that, Adamu and Kyari should take the path of honour, lawyer says Though retaining their seats in the Senate is not illegal, Ogun urged Senators Adamu and Kyari to resign from the Red Chamber and focus on their new jobs as principal members of the APC’s NWC.

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He noted that it is impossible for them to run the two offices efficiently at the same time. His words: “Having said that, I urge Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Abubakar Kyari to take the path of honour by relinquishing their senatorial position in the interest of their people and the good of our country because it is quite impossible to efficiently run their dual offices contemporaneously.”

In other news, the newly-elected chairman of the ruling APC, Senator Adamu, on Thursday, April 7, said the APC would use any available option to elect its next presidential candidate.

The three options available for the ruling party are direct primaries, indirect primaries, and consensus. Senator Adamu made the comment while speaking to State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

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