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‘I’ll be guided by 1999 constitution’ — Ngige speaks on APC directive asking aspirants to resign

Author:
TheCable

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, says the provisions of the 1999 constitution will guide his decision on when to resign from office over his presidential ambition.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) had issued new guidelines for the conduct of its activities for the 2023 general election.

The guidelines include a section asking political appointees to resign before the party’s primaries if they are interested in contesting in the 2023 elections.

Speaking on the development while addressing journalists on Wednesday, Ngige said he was not aware of the guidelines, but added that his resignation will be in line with the 1999 constitution which provides for public office holders interested in elective offices to resign 30 days before polls.

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“I don’t know about that. I’m hearing for the first time from you. But like I always say, I’ll be guided by the letters and spirit of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

“You are pushing me into something that is not necessary to discuss, because that aspect of the law enacted by the national assembly, via the electoral act, that section 84(12) has been struck down by a court of law and the cases are on appeal.

“And for now, no matter how bad the judgment is, that’s the maximum jurisprudence. No matter how bad the law is, it is a judgment of court; it should be obeyed, until upturned or stayed.

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“But there is no stay; there’s no atonement of that particular pronouncement, and the party is on appeal. So, the judgment is still subsisting. That aspect of the law was injurious to some persons and should not have been there.

“I also know that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in certain sections — section 107, 137 and 88 — prescribes disqualification clauses for people who are going for election and that prescription is supreme, because it’s in the constitution and the constitution is the grand norm of all laws.

“I have not seen that pronouncement from the party. I have not seen any release from the party. It has not been conveyed to me or to anybody. I’m a presidential aspirant. So, I’ll find out and if it is true, I would then know what to do.”

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