The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened on Monday when the party’s National Vice Chairman, North-West, Dr. Salihu Lukman vowed to continue with the court case he instituted against the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
The party chieftain had given a seven-day ultimatum to Adamu to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to give the financial account of the party.
However, following Adamu’s failure to convene the NEC meeting as demanded, at the expiration of the seven days ultimatum, Lukman, last Thursday instituted a lawsuit against the APC National Chairman.
However, the leadership assumed another dimension on Monday when Lukman wrote President Muhammadu Buhari, President -elect, Bola Tinubu and the Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum and the Governor of Yobe state, Atiku Bagudu, insisting that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party lacks the power to expel him.
DAILY POST reports that the National Legal Adviser of the party, Ahmad El-Marzuq recommended his expulsion in a memo he wrote to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, dated April 28, 2023.
Responding to the expulsion threat in an open letter dated May 1, 2023, Lukman said while the issues raised in the memo were a response to the suit he filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja, he hoped that the memo would be presented to the meeting of NWC scheduled for Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
He was of the opinion that the substantive issue would be the consideration of recommendations for disciplinary measures against him, which might require invoking Article 21.5 of the APC Constitution.
Lukman emphasised that Article 21.3(i) of the APC constitution explicitly indicated that the Executive Committee of the party is the only organ of the party with the responsibility of issuing disciplinary actions;
“A complaint by any member of the party against a Public Office holder, elected or appointed, or another member or against a party organ or officer of the party shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of that party at all levels concerned which shall not later than seven (7) days of the receipt of the complaint, appoint a fact-finding or Disciplinary Committee to examine the matter”.
Lukman noted that with this provision, his expectation will be for the NWC to consider the memo and if adopted refer the recommendations for onward transmission to the National Executive Committee (NEC).
He added that in that case, the NWC will then be acting as the complainant.
Lukman said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the suit in question, which is alleged to constitute anti-party activity, will have to go ahead, especially to correct the erroneous interpretation of the Constitution by the National Legal Adviser to the effect that “it is not mandatory to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee every quarter for the purpose of presenting activities of the Party to the members of NEC.”
The party chieftain said such an interpretation coming from the National Legal Adviser, whose legal qualification was not in doubt, smacks of a deliberate attempt to manipulate the NWC into subverting the party’s constitution.
Lukman added, “There is nowhere in the APC Constitution where the NWC is given the power to discipline any member of the party. I have already forwarded the memo to my legal team for further legal action.
“Let me say very clearly that I will proceed with the legal action I instituted to restore Constitutional order in APC up to the Supreme Court. It is pathetic that the National Legal Adviser, rather than providing an unbiased legal opinion to guide deliberations of organs of the party, would descend so low as to imagine that threats of disciplinary action are what is required at this point.”