APC threatens to expel Lukman
The National Working Committee, NWC, of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has threatened to expel Salihu Lukman, a member and National Vice Chairman for the Northwest, for filing a lawsuit against Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore for failing to call meetings of the appropriate party organs as required by the constitution.
This was stated in a “legal opinion” that our source saw and that was dated April 28, 2023 and sent to the NWC members Adamu and Omisore as well as other members. It was written by the National Legal Adviser, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq.
Lukman had set Adamu a seven-day deadline to start working to call a meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC where he (Adamu) will submit a financial report of the party after exhausted all other options for getting his point through.
In the event that Adamu did not take the necessary action within the allotted term, Lukman had threatened to file a lawsuit against him.
As a result, the former PGF director general who had threatened to sue Adamu and Omisore last Thursday followed through on his threat.
He also wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari to explain why he was taking the pair to court, claiming that their refusal to listen his appeal to follow the party’s constitution left him with no other choice.
Although attempts to get Lukman’s response were not immediately successful, it was discovered that the matter would be discussed at the NWC meeting on Wednesday.
However, El-Marzuq claimed in his legal opinion that he had painstakingly gone through the reliefs requested and the affidavit in support of the Plaintiff’s Originating Summons with a fine-tooth comb and that he was of the opinion that the suit mainly concerned the internal or domestic affairs of the party, which had been deemed non-justiciable in a number of decided cases.
In the matter of WAZIRI v. PDP & ANOR (2022) LPELR-58803(CA), it was decided as follows, he said.
According to established legal precedent, no court has the authority to hear complaints about or rule on issues involving political parties’ internal disputes.In Onuoha v. Okafor & Ors. (1983) 14 NSCLR 494 at 499–507 the Supreme Court established the long-standing principle that only the political party can settle a dispute involving the leadership of, within, or between members of the same political party.This is due to the fact that a political party is an independent group. People join political parties of their own free will; as a result, any internal disputes must be decided by a majority vote of the members.
Because of this, no court has the authority to hear a claim on any dispute involving its internal affairs.
El-Marzuq stated, citing a number of other judgments, that problems relating to the management of political parties had also been determined to be outside the purview of the courts.
According to him, Lukman made a big deal out of the fact that the National Executive Committee, or NEC, meeting should be held every three months in accordance with the party’s constitution and that the failure to do so had negatively impacted the party’s ability to run smoothly.
However, a quick glance at Article 25.2 (i) of the party’s constitution would show that, contrary to what the plaintiff claims, the National Working Committee or one-third of the National Executive Committee members must request in writing for a meeting of the National Executive Committee to be called.The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and/or at any time determined by the National Working Committee or at the request made in writing by one-third of the members of the National Executive Committee, provided that not less than 14 days notice is given for the meeting. Article 25.2 (i) is reproduced below for convenience of reference.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the Party did not violate any provision of its Constitution by failing to call for a quarterly meeting of the NEC to present the Party’s activities to the members of the NEC as alluded to by the Plaintiff, and his suit ought to be dismissed by the Court for lack of merit,” the statement reads. The Plaintiff’s case focuses on internal and domestic issues that the Party can only settle through its own dispute resolution procedures. See the Supreme Court case OSAGIE & ORS vs. ENOGHAMA & ORS (2022) LPELR – 58903 for more information on this.
“By taking the party to court, it is my recommendation that the Plaintiff be subjected to disciplinary measures in accordance with the party’s constitution, particularly Article 21.5 (v), which reads as follows: “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 be subject to the discipline provided for in this constitution.
APC was listed as the first defendant in the lawsuit filed last Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the plaintiff’s attorney, Mohammed Kabir Abdullahi, Esq. Adamu, Omisore, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were listed as the second, third, and fourth defendants, respectively.