…You can’t take party or any of its officials to court – Oshiomhole
…No, party can’t stop aggrieved members from seeking redress – Buhari
…Says APC can’t deny members of their rights
…Jettisons Tinubu’s reconciliation committee
By Samuel udeh
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC took a new dimension yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari came down hard on the national leadership of the party declaring that it cannot stop aggrieved members from seeking redress in court.
The APC National Working Committee led by Adams Oshiomhole had on November 19 threatened to sanction members of the party that went to court over the outcome of the party’s controversial primaries.
In a statement signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, midway into the meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, the APC national leadership had described the action of those that dragged the party to court as manifest indiscipline and anti-party activity.
According to the statement, “This growing trend is viewed by the party as a 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 matter 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,” the statement added.
Reacting to the position of APC to stop aggrieved members from going to court, the President said any member of the party who has been denied of their rights is at liberty to approach the court for redress.
“We can’t deliberately deny people of their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person can go to court.
“The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me,” he added.
President Buhari also technically disbanded the reconciliation committee headed by Bola Ahmed Tinubu which he inaugurated during the tenure of former chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
He advised members to work with the reconciliation committees empanelled for the six geo-political zones by the APC, and not a purported presidential committee on reconciliation, stressing that the party is the only body authorized to constitute such committees.