By Ewache Ajefu
The crisis in the PDP took a new twist with the revelation by PDP Stakeholders Forum that the entire NWC should be sacked for several reasons.One of the reasons it is calling for the sack of the national chairman along with others ,the group said is that “Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is ab-initio not a bonafide member of the PDP that is capable of being elected into the office he currently occupies. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was expelled by the National Executive Committee of the party after being indicted for “high level anti-party activities” alongside five others including chief Edwin Ume Ezeoke on May 31, 2001.”
The group at a press conference Wednesday in Abuja also claimed that the PDP constitution has been forged.
In a petition sent to the PDP NEC against tomorrow’s meeting, the group is asking for the sack of the NWC members and rejection of their resignation to serve as deterrent to other incoming officers to stop committing illegality.
The group also listed the ground the NEC should adopt in case Bamanga tukur refuses to resign tommorrow. They also rejected the call and plans to set up an interim exco for PDP which they described as illegal and gave options available to the party in case of vacancies in national office of the party tomorrow.
The two petitions are reproduced below.
RE: THE TWO PETITIONS TO PDP NEC ON SACK OF BAMANGA TUKUR, FORGERY OF PDP CONSTITUTION, REJECTIONS OF SETTING UP OF CARETAKER COMMITTEE FOR PDP AND THE GROUNDS THE NEC WILL USE TO SACK BAMANGA TOMORROW
June 19, 2013
The National Executive Committee
Peoples Democratic Party
ATTN: All NEC Member
DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE REMOVAL/SACK OF PDP NATIONAL CHAIRMAN (ALHAJI BAMANGA TUKUR) ON GROUNDS OF BREACH OF PDP CONSTITUTION, INELIGIBILITY,INCOMPETENCE,NON-MEMBERSHIP OF PDP, AND CARRYING OUT OF ILLEGAL PARTY ACTIVITIES.
-THE GROUNDS NEC WILL USE TO SACK BAMANGA IF HE FAILS TO RESIGN
We the members of the People’s Democratic Party P.D.P stakeholder’s forum, having considered the sordid state of affairs and the increasing slide toward lawlessness and anarchy of our great party, formerly write to Members of PDP NEC to demand the immediate Removal of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party.
GROUNDS UPON WHICH PDP NEC WILL CARRY OUT THE REMOVAL OF NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF PDP (BAMANGA TUKUR)
1. NON EXISTING MEMBERSHIP
a. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is ab-initio not a bonafide member of the PDP that is capable of being elected into the office he currently occupies. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was expelled by the National Executive Committee of the party after being indicted for “high level anti-party activities” alongside five others including chief Edwin Ume Ezeoke on May 31, 2001.
b. The expulsion of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and five others in 2001 by the PDP passed through the due process of law as enshrined in the party’s constitution and still subsist as same has never been contested, challenged or set aside
c. Article 17(2)(g) of the PDP constitution 2009, now Section 49(4) of PDP constitution 2012(as amended) provides as follows:
No member of the party shall be qualified for nomination or election into any offices of the party unless he has been a registered member for not less than 2 years and is of good financial standing in the party, except there is a waiver by the appropriate Executive Committee.
d. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, at the point of his nomination for election as National Chairman was never a registered member of not less than 2 years since his expulsion from the party in 2001, which expulsion has not been lifted by the PDP or set aside by a court of law.
e. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur did not apply for, nor obtain the requisite waiver by the National Executive Committee of the party before offering himself for election into the office of National Chairman of PDP IN 2012.
f. Further, Article 10(b) iii of the PDP constitution 2009 now Section 8(17) of PDP Constitution (as amended) provides thus:
Any party member who loses his membership for reasons other than non payment of annual subscription may be readmitted on the recommendation of his ward executive committee through the Local Government Area Executive Committee, to the State Chapter of the Party, and ultimately made to the National Working Committee, subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee.
g. Having lost his membership via expulsion by PDP NEC in 2001, Alhaji Tukur, to become a bonafide member of the PDP again by virtue of the above provision of the party’s constitution, must go to the Adamawa State chapter of the party to commence his readmission process which will terminate with the Adamawa Chapter writing to the NWC for a consideration of his re-admission, however subject to ratification by the NEC of the party.
h. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, since his purported “return”, has refused and or failed to follow the above clearly spelt out constitutional procedure since his expulsion from the party as Adamawa PDP has not written to the NWC, neither has there been any PDP NEC meeting that met to consider his re-admission since 2001.
i. The legal effect of the foregoing is that, with an utterly flawed and incurably defective membership, the nomination, subsequent election and continued stay in office of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party is fraudulent, illegal and unconstitutional.
NOW TAKE NOTE
That the incompetence of the National Chairman has brought no much disunity, cluelessness and lack of direction for the party. The illegality and abuse of office by the National Chairman is endless (Removal of officers of the party without following due process, illegal appointments, refusal to hold statutorily meetings etc)
That the non-existent membership of the Peoples Democratic Party of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur had cast a very serious legal burden on his competence to vie for, hold and continuous occupation of the office of the National Chairman of the PDP, AND his refusal to call for a NEC meeting since 2012 is amounts to a grave and unpardonable violation of the constitution of the PDP.
Thus, Section 2 of the PDP constitution (as amended) provides that subject to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this constitution shall be supreme and its provision shall have binding force on all members and organs of the party…” The implication of the above(borrowing from the words of Onnonghen JSC) is that the provisions of the PDP constitution is immutable, strong as the rock of Gibraltar; it cannot be extended, expanded or shifted outside its boundaries. It is binding on all and must be obeyed and carried out without fear or favour thereby making the removal of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from office a foregone conclusion.
Our demands are very simple and albeit straightforward; we demand the removal with immediate effect of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman of the PDP
HOW NEC CAN SACK BAMANGA WITHOUT BREACHING THE PDP CONSTITUTION.
NEC is invited to note that section 12(74) requires the National Chairman of the party to summon NEC meeting at least once every quarter. NEC should note that the chairman has for over one year failed to carry out this constitutional party requirement. NEC should therefore invoke at section 21(7) and 21(1) which states that failure to carry out lawful responsibilities and a breach of the party constitution has a penalty of Suspension, removal from office and expulsion from the party. The constitution gives NEC the power to use a simple majority to carry out this punishment. Therefore, The NEC should invoke this powers and remove Bamanga from office immediately.
FURTHER TAKE NOTICE
a. That our decision to write this petition was informed by the need to explore all available internal party mechanism towards a resolution of this matter as envisaged by the party’s constitution.
b. The PDP code of conduct for party members provides under section 3 that it shall be the sacred duty of party members to assist in ensuring observance of the code of conduct and all electoral guidelines and/or Regulations and to assist in apprehending and punishing those who attempt to flout the provisions of the codes, Rules, Regulations and Guidelines.
c. We therefore hope that our petition shall be given the quickest and unbiased treatment it deserves in the circumstance, considering the gravity of the issues raised therein. However, should this petition be ignored or given an undeserved treatment, we shall then be compelled to seek available legal means to ventilate our demands.
A stitch in time saves nine.
IKENGA IMO UGOCHINYERE (FOR PDP STAKEHOLDERS FORUM)
the second petition
19TH JUNE, 2013
PDP NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
C/O Office of the National Secretary
Wadata Plaze, Wuse, Zone 5 Abuja.
Attn: All members of PDP NEC
URGENT NOTICE/ALERT TO PDP NEC MEMBERS.
AS PDP NEC MEETS TODAY: ALERT ON THE ILLEGAL ALTERATION OF THE PDP CONSTITUTION AND CALL FOR THE PDP NEC TO RESIST THE PLOT TO RUN PDP WITH INTERIM/CARETAKER COMMITTEE.
-WHY REMOVAL OF BAMANGA TUKUR AND IMMEDIATE ISSUANCE OF CONVENTION NOTICE TO INEC/SET UP OF CONVENTION PLANNING COMMITTEE IF VACANIES EXIST AND CORRECTION OF THE FAKE 2012 PDP CONSTITUTION MUST TOP THE NEC MEETING AGENDA TODAY.
We wish to first of all welcome you all to Abuja for today’s emergency meeting of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) after many years of conspiracy and dirty politicking by the outgoing National Working Committee to stop you all from meeting to fulfil your constitutional roles as required by our Party Constitution. As you all are away, the statutorily meetings of all organs of the meeting required for effective running the Party including the NEC was completely scraped by Bamanga Tukur and his co travelers. They usurped the NEC powers with high level of recklessness, they performed your constitutional roles, they disciplined/suspended officers without NEC approval, and they went outside their powers and basically declared NEC nonexistent with their nefarious actions which ended up shaking and cracking the wall of unity and strength of the party. As you meet to today to take crucial decision on major sad developments in the party in the last one year, party members all over the country shall be watching to see what will the great PDP NEC do to these messengers of destabilization led by Bamanga who has breached by their actions the constitution of the party, we will leave you all to decide that(whether to allow them get away with their political and constitutional impunities with a face saving resignation or will the NEC be bold enough to reject the resignation and rather hammer the constitutional punishment of Vote of no confidence followed with a unanimous sack and suspension from PDP so that this will serve as deterrent to other members who would want to follow this path of rascality and illegalities in future)
THE AGENDA FOR TODAY’S NEC MEETING AND URGENT ISSUES THE NEC MUST HANDLE IMMEDIATELY.
NEC MUST RESIST PLOT TO RUN PDP WITH INTERIM/CARETAKER COMMITTEE.
THE LEGAL LIMITATION ON CARETAKER AND WHY NEC MUST AUTHORISE THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCESS FOR NATIONAL CONVENTION.
PDP NEC MUST NOTE THE FOLLOWINGS INCASE IF VACANCIES OCCUR IN EXECUTIVE OFFICES OF THE PARTY:
SECTION 85(3) OF THE 2011 ELECTORAL ACT: The election of members of the executive committee or other governing body of a political party, including the election to fill a vacant position in any of these bodies, shall be conducted in a democratic manner and allowing for all members of the party or duly elected delegates to vote in support of a candidate of their choice.
SECTION 31(2) d of the PDP CONSTITUTIONS: The PDP NEC shall ensure that all organs of the party functions democratically and effectively
SECTIONS 223(1) a of the 1999 Constitution…The constitution and rules of political parties shall provide for periodic election on a democratic basis for members of the Executive Committees
SECTION 85 (1) OF THE 2011 ELECTORAL ACT: A registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees.
SECTION 47(6) of the PDP CONSTITUTION: Where vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the party, the executive committee shall appoint another person from the area or zone where the officer originated from pending the conduct of an election to fill the vacancy.
SECTION 45(1-4) OF THE PDP CONSTITUTION: If a National officer of the party is removed or resigns from office, he shall immediately handover to his deputy.
With the above constitutional provisions, it is very clear that the PDP NEC lacks the power to set up or constitute a caretaker committee for the running of the party. The PDP Constitution, the electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution requires the PDP NEC to in a situation of vacancy occurrence commence the process for holding a democratic convention where a replacement officer shall be elected.
The NEC is hereby invited to note that if vacancy occurs in any office of the party, by removal or resignation, the PDP Constitution requires the deputy National Officer to act pending the election of the substantive National officer as required by Section 45 of the PDP Constitution.
The NEC is hereby invited again to note that in a situation that vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the party and there is no deputy to take over, the can going by the provisions of Section 47(6) appoint a replacement from the same zone where the former occupant originated from pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy.
In view of the above, the PDP NEC Can only appoint an acting National Chairman and NWC officers if there is no deputy National officers to take over but if there is deputy officers still in their current positions, they are constitutional empowered by the PDP Constitution to act until the convention is held to fill a replacement.
On this note, we therefore warn that the move by some forces to constitutive a caretaker for PDP is illegal, unconstitutional and strange to the PDP Constitution and the Electoral act. We wish to inform the NEC that in a situation that Vacancies occur in any offices of the Party, the NEC is required by the PDP Constitution and the 2011 Electoral Act to commence the process of fielding a replacement by conducting an election.
WHY OUT FOR THE NEC: Since the constitution, the electoral act and the PDP Constitution forbids the setting up of any caretaker or running of the party with unelected officers, the NEC is invited to act as follows:
SECTION 31(2) a of the 2012 PDP Constitution: The NEC shall convene the National Convention and appoint a convention organizing committee which shall circulate the convention information in advance.
The PDP NEC should once mass vacancy exist, announce immediately a convention planning organizing committee to take over the process of convening and electing new national officers as required by the provision of the law. The should today issue the constitutional required 21 days’ notice to INEC to show its serious to play by the rule of law and dilute the minds of Nigerians and party members that there is a grand conspiracy to run the party with unelected officers
Also the NEC shall appoint acting officers into vacant positions only if there are no existing deputies to take over in acting capacities as required by the PDP Constitution pending the completion of the Convention to elect replacement officers. Note that failure not to commence the process of valid democratic convention to elect substantive officers will incur litigations.
NOTIFICATION OF THE ILLEGAL ALTERATION OF THE 2012 PDP CONSTITUTION AND CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION
We wish to draw your attention to premeditated act of secret illegal alteration by to the amended 2012 PDP Constitution.
The 2012 PDP Constitution is an amendment to 2009 (amended) Constitution. The said 2009 PDP Constitution outlined procedure for amendment of the Constitution in Article 26, particularly Article 26.2 and 26.3 which provides generally that Notice of amendment to the Constitution shall be given to the National secretary, which shall be in writing and shall contain a clear statement of the amendment sought and the reasons for the amendment. That the Secretary upon receipt of the notice shall cause it to be circulated to the state branches of the party for publication at least one month before the date of the National convention.
There was never a time the National Secretary received notice of amendment or caused to be circulated to the state branches of the party amendments to Article 12.74 .
IKENGA IMO UGOCHINYERE
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