…In Ekiti State, aggrieved members dared the national leadership of the party to suspend or expel them as a result of the court action instituted against the party over the July 31 ward congresses.
The stakeholders, comprising APC members not satisfied with the running of the party in the state, said neither the President nor the party had the powers to bar anyone from instituting court cases to ventilate their grievances.
Aggrieved contestants in the ward congresses in the state had dragged the party to court to protest the election, which they said did not hold in Ekiti State, and prayed the court to, among others, sack the APC national caretaker committee chairman, Buni; nullify the ward congresses and stop or cancel the results of the local government congresses.
The Chairman of the Ekiti APC Stakeholders, Senator Anthony Adeniyi, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the party, after realising that it did not have such powers, did not bar any member from seeking redress in court.
He accused the leadership of deliberately misinterpreting Buhari’s advice while setting up the Buni-led caretaker committee.
Adeniyi said, “The party did not warn anybody against going to court. They only want to hide under what the President said to perpetrate illegality. What really happened was that President Buhari said those in court should withdraw all cases when the caretaker committee was set up.
“The party cannot stop anyone from going to court. The party has no such powers. By Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, anybody that has a grouse against the government, individuals or any authority has the entrenched right to ventilate such in court. Neither Buhari nor the party said so; they are only giving that interpretation.”
The former National Assembly member added, “The aggrieved stakeholders in Ekiti State are asking the court to nullify the rigged primaries. They are also asking the court to remove Buni and his committee, which was not properly constituted when former National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, left.
“We are not satisfied; there is nothing in our constitution that gave Buhari or the NEC powers, even if NEC had the power to set up a caretaker committee, it did not have powers to extend the tenure. This is one and half years since the committee was set up.
“They (committee members) ought to have done what they wanted to do; they are hiding under reconciliation. Who are they reconciling? They had not been to Ekiti. We never saw them here. The El-Rufai committee set up for reconciliation never set foot on Ekiti since it was set up.”
Adeniyi said when his group presented the case of the aggrieved members before the Congress Appeal Committee, it said the allegations were serious and weighty.
Adeniyi, who said the party lacked the powers to suspend or expel any member over litigation, dared it, saying, “They should go ahead and expel us. They will expel many of us. Those who went to court in the country are over 6,000. There are over 3,500 in Ekiti State.
“What will they use to expel us? Are they telling us that being members of the APC, we cannot exercise our right again? Nobody can expel anybody. If they have the powers, let them try and do it. They will burn and eat their fingers.
“Let them start the process of expelling us; they will start from the wards. Is it in the wards where we have large numbers – over 5,000 people in Ekiti – that they can move a motion to expel us? Even when they wanted to expel us, including Senator Babafemi Ojudu, could they do it? To start the process of suspension and expulsion, they have to start from the wards.”