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APC mulls Lukman’s expulsion over suit against Adamu, others

The National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmad Usman El- Marzuq Esq., has written the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, demanding…

The National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmad Usman El- Marzuq Esq., has written the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, demanding the expulsion of the National Vice Chairman (Northwest), Salihu Mohammed Lukman.

Lukman had given Adamu a 7-day ultimatum to summon a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) which is the second highest decision-making organ of the party or risk legal action.

After the ultimatum, he filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja through his counsel, Mohammed Kabir Abdullahi. Esq., and listed the APC, Adamu, the party’s national secretary, Iyiola Omisore, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants.

The APC vice chairman is asking the court to order the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants to immediately convene the NEC meeting of the APC for the purpose of presenting the activities of the party from the date of the last NEC meeting of April 28, 2022 to the last meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) which held on 17th April, 2023.

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But in the letter dated 28th April, 2023, El-Marzuq said Lukman should be expelled for taking legal action against the party on a matter that is strictly the internal affairs of the party.

The APC legal adviser said, “A cursory look at Article 25.2 (i) of the party’s constitution would reveal that it is not mandatory to convene a meeting of the NEC every quarter as postulated by the Plaintiff, rather it is at the discretion of the NWC or at the request in writing by one – third of the members of the NEC.

“For ease of reference, Article 25.2 (i) is reproduced hereunder as follows: ‘The NEC shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the NWC or at the request made in writing by one – third of the members of the NEC, provided that not less than 14 days notice is given for the meeting.’

“From the above, it is clear that the party did not breach any provision of its constitution by not calling for a meeting of NEC every quarter for the purpose of presenting activities of the party to the members of NEC as alluded to by the Plaintiff and thus his suit ought to be dismissed by the Court for lacking in merit.”

He added, “In the case of WAZIRI v. PDP & ANOR (2022) LPELR-58803(CA), it was held thus: It is settled law that, no Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine complaints or matters pertaining to intra-party disputes of political parties.

“It has long been settled by the Supreme Court in Onuoha v. Okafor & Ors. (1983) 14 NSCLR 494 at 499 – 507 that, where the relief sought is on leadership of or intra-party dispute between members of same political party or between a member or and the political party, only the party can resolve the dispute.”

“By resorting to a Court action against the party, it is my recommendation that disciplinary measures in accordance with the party’s constitution should be meted out against the Plaintiff particularly Article 21.5 (v) which states thus: ‘Any member who files an action in Court of law against the party or any of its officers on any matter or matters relating to the discharge of duties of the party without first exhausting the avenues for redress provided for in this Constitution shall automatically stand expelled from the party on filing such action and no appeal against expulsion as stipulated in this clause shall be entertained until the withdrawal of the action from Court by the member’.”

Sources in the party confirmed to our correspondent that the issue would be discussed at a meeting of the NWC slated for this week.

When contacted, Lukman said, “My simple reaction is that I hope this will be tabled at the NWC meeting because it’s only then it will become a threat; for now, the memo is just an opinion of the National Legal Adviser, but I will react to it at the appropriate time.”

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