The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has threatened to expel some of its aggrieved members who have instituted several court cases against the party.
The party has threatened to invoke the constitutional provisions regarding the several court actions filed against it as a result of its recent nationwide primaries.
In a statement after its National Working Committee, NWC, meeting on Monday night, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the NWC “frowned at the actions of some Party members who have resorted to litigation as a way of addressing their perceived grievances and disputation without exhausting the party’s dispute resolution mechanism.”
Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law to the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, had instituted a court case against the party as part of measures to retrieve what he described as his “stolen” governorship candidacy.
Also in Zamfara State, high-profile members of the party had also dragged it to court.
The APC has now taken a strong stand against the trend which it described as “manifest indiscipline.”
“The actions, it should be noted, is considered as anti-party as it goes against our Party’s constitution.
“For emphasis, according to Article 20, Subsection 10 of our Party’s Constitution, offences against the Party include the following: ‘Filing an action in a Court of Law against the Party or any of its Officers on any matters relating to the discharge of the duties of the Party without first exhausting all avenues for redress provided for in this Constitution.’
“The Party intends to activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their action is capable of undermining the party and hurt the Party’s interest.
“We hereby strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes. In addition to this, aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the party has just put in place.
“APC members should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules.
“We therefore advise such members to take this warning very seriously as failure to comply with the party’s dispute resolution procedures would be met with the stipulated disciplinary actions.”
Article 21(D)(v) of the party’s constitution states: “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 the 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 the court by the member.”
Meanwhile, the NWC has also set up reconciliation committees to interface with all aggrieved elements in the party.
The committees were set up on geopolitical basis with seven members each, including governors elected on the platform of the party.
Three aggrieved governors, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara were however excluded from the committees.
The mandate of the committees is simply to reconcile aggrieved parties but not to recommend an alteration of the list of candidates representing the party at the 2019 polls.