Following the post primaries crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has welcomed the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that aggrieved members of the party can seek redress in court.
Veloxnews recalls that the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party had threatened to sanction aggrieved members seeking redress in law courts.
The NWC, at its meeting held last month, frowned at the aggrieved members’ decision for allegedly not exploring the party’s resolution mechanism before heading to the courts.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on the issue, he said, “This growing trend is viewed by the party as manifest indiscipline. The actions, it should be noted, are considered as anti-party as it goes against our party’s constitution.”
Aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the party has just put in place.”
Some aspirants, who alleged that they were schemed out of the primaries particularly Imo state’s Uche Nwosu, Rivers; Senator Magnus Abe, Oyo; Adebayor Shittu, among others, have dragged the party to court over issues arising from party primaries.
While emphasising that the position of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, is “totally flawed”, Akeredolu insisted that President Buhari is right on the matter.
According to him, “Let me state without any doubt that I stand on a good wicket in arguing that the position of the President, an acknowledge veteran in court disputation, cannot be faulted. The argument of the NWC members is totally flawed.
“The provision of our party constitution referred to severally and relied upon to support their claim can only be used in law as a shield and not a sword.
“Using the provision as a shield will include approaching the court to decline jurisdiction to hear any of the cases if domestic fora for settlement in accordance with the Party constitution was not exhausted before commencement of the suit.
“The court will look into the circumstances of each case to reach a conclusion any which way. In most cases the court will be obligated to inquire into whether or not there was opportunity for exploring the domestic fora for settlement in accordance with the Party constitution.”
The Ondo governor maintained that the NWC’s position is an invitation to infringe on the constitutional rights of members, adding that there is no provision in the party’s constitution that prohibits members to seek redress in court.
“What our NWC members are canvassing against the President’s position is anarchy; an invitation to infringe on the constitutional rights of our members in a democracy by using the provision of the Party constitution in issue as a SWORD.This will certainly not stand the test of time.
“To the best of my knowledge there is certainly no provision in our Party constitution that prohibits our members from approaching the court if they feel aggrieved on any matter. If any such provision exists it will be unconstitutional.”
The Governor, however, advised the NWC to seek proper legal advice before taking decisions that are likely to cause more confusion in the party.
“NWC may wish to seek proper legal advice on this before taking actions that would further muddle the waters,” he stated.