The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has rejected the offer to step aside by its National Legal Adviser and former Commissioner for Environment in Lagos State, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).
Our correspondent reports that Banire had about three weeks ago written to step down as the party’s National Legal Adviser following an investigation launched by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), into a gift of N500,000 given to an old friend, who sought his financial assistance to defray part of the burial expenses of his late mother about three years ago.
However, in a letter dated December 1, 2016 and signed by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party said its NWC “resolved that your voluntary submission for investigation by the EFCC and subsequent offer to step aside from your position as National Legal Adviser to the party is an exemplary representation of the credo of our party. The NWC is proud of your conduct in this respect.”
The letter however said that “after intense discussion, the NWC unanimously decided not to accept your offer to step aside as the National Legal Adviser.”
The party explained that its decision is hinged on the fact that Banire’s offer is “inappropriate since your responsibility as the National Legal Adviser of our party will not, in any way, impede any ongoing investigation by the EFCC, more so, as the allegation has no nexus with the party.”
“The party is currently saddled with a number of sensitive litigations and your role in professionally handling the ongoing cases is critical. The NWC is of the view that we keep to the credo of our jurisprudence where an accused is considered innocent until otherwise proven guilty by a competent jurisdiction. In this case you have not even been accused”, the party stated and sought for Banire’s understanding of its decision to refuse his offer to resign from the NWC.