By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Babatunde Ogala has asked the Director-General, Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman to stop dabbling into party issues that are beyond him, describing his intervention in party affairs as stemming from ignorance.
Ogala in a telephone interview with Vanguard on Wednesday said he would not join issues with Lukman who he accused of ignorance of party administration and laws.
The APC legal adviser was reacting to a statement in which Lukman called for his sack on the grounds that he has not given quality legal advice to the party hierarchy in the midst of its current leadership crisis.
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“All manner of so-called legal experts emerged on the public scene to interpret both our constitution and court pronouncements. Yet, there are some demented officials called ‘Legal Advisers’ who are operating as senior officers of the party at all levels. Why is no one questioning the qualifications of these officials? Given their incompetence, which is appearing to endanger our democracy by substituting rule of law with rule of men (and very few women), why should the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) continue to enlist them in the Bar? That is assuming they are lawyers as there are rumours that some elected ‘Legal Advisers’ are not lawyers, just like there are rumours that some ‘Women Leaders’ are men”, Lukman had said.
However, Ogala in his reaction said; “Is he (Lukman) a lawyer? No. How do I join issues with such people? As an employee of PGF, it is beyond him to be making comments about the party. It is beyond him to be making comments that I owe him no explanation on. That I am responsible to those who elected me which does not include him. That his employers, the governors who are my colleagues on the National Executive Committee NEC are those who I can respond to. They are the ones I owe explanations. That I sympathize with his ignorance and I will not dignify him with a response. I will not dignify him with a response or else I would be seen to be engaging somebody who is ignorant.
“I do not interpret court judgments. As legal adviser, I obey court orders. My duty is to obey orders of court not to interpret them and that is why when the court ruled that the chairman should step aside, I treated the order like every other court order that must be obeyed. This is just to educate him, not to join issues with him because he obviously spoke out of ignorance. And he does not have the mandate of his employers, the governors who are my colleagues on the National Executive Committee NEC to make such reckless statements”.
Vanguard Nigeria News
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By Omeiza Ajayi