The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has nullified the purported expulsion of the former Executive Director (Projects) Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Cairo Ojougboh from the party.
THE NATION reports that the National Legal Adviser of the party, Ahmad El- Marzuq, described the action of the local leadership of the party as “null, void and of no effect.”
The party’s position was contained in a letter by the National Legal Adviser dated June 5, 2023 on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to the development.
Ika South Local Government Area Chairman, Mr Hilary Ibude in March 2023 announced the expulsion of Ojougboh from the ruling APC via a letter dated March 27 following series of petitions and recommendations on his alleged anti-party activities.
But the party’s National Legal Adviser said Ibude had no evidence to expel Ojougboh, saying his action was inappropriate because the crucial element of a fair hearing was not given to him to justify the resolution to expel him.
“The party receives your letter dated March 28, 2023, in respect of the subject matter.
“In your letter under reference, you attached the resolution of Ika South Local Government Area in Delta to expel Dr Cairo Ojougboh from the party.
“I have gone through the resolution of the Chairman of Ika South Local Government Area approving the expulsion of Ojougboh from the party.
“And it is my observation from the documents availed to the party that there was no evidence that the crucial element of fair hearing was afforded to Ojougboh to justify the resolution to expel him,” the Legal Adviser said.
El- Marzuq further explained that by the provision of Article 21 of the party’s Constitution, the right to discipline its members were subject to their inalienable right to a fair hearing.
“Without evidence of compliance with the basic procedure of disciplining a member of the party as envisaged in Article 21 of our party’s Constitution.
“The expulsion of Ojougboh from the party would be null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
“Secondly, it is important to mention that the punishment of expulsion meted out to Ojougboh by the chairman can only be confirmed and ratified by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC),” he said.
The Legal Adviser further explained that the resolution to expel Ojougboh from the party by the Chairman of Ika South Local Government Area ought to have been submitted to the party’s NEC.
“This is by Article 21.5 of the party’s Constitution, which was not followed and thus, the expulsion of Ojougboh remains inchoate until it is forwarded to the party’s NEC for a final determination of the matter.
El- Marzuq said this was the party’s position, especially because the resolution to expel Ojougboh was not by the party’s Constitution.
“Therefore, the resolution to expel Ojougboh is null and void and of no effect whatsoever occasioned by the failure of the Executives of Ika South Local Government Area.
“To adhere strictly with the provisions of the party’s Constitution concerning the discipline of its members.
Delta APC also purportedly suspended the party’s governorship candidate in the last election and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, alleging anti-party activities.