April 19, 2023

APC Vice Chair gives Adamu ultimatum on financial report, meeting

APC chairman

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

The crisis of leadership in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, deepened on Wednesday as the National Vice Chairman, Northwest, Salihu Lukman, issued a one-week ultimatum to the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to render a financial account of the National Working Committee, NWC, and convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, or risk a lawsuit.

In an open letter addressed to Adamu and titled ‘Restoring Constitutional Order in APC, Not Negotiable’, Lukman recalled how he had earlier written formally to the party chairman, outlining several constitutional demands.

He said; “I make this an open letter because it is about campaigning to return the APC to its foundation, which requires that we mobilize all like-minded party leaders and members in this crusade to restore constitutional order in the APC.

“As a person, I have concluded that everything must be done to compel you to respect the constitution of our party and manage its affairs based on the requirements of our constitution and not your personal discretion.

“Therefore, by this open letter, I am serving you notice of one week from today, Wednesday, April 19, 2023 to take all the appropriate steps required to convene an NEC meeting before May 29, 2023, wherein all the issues bordering on the management of smooth transition between the outgoing government of President Buhari and the incoming government of President Asiwaju Tinubu can be considered.

“If by the end of this one-week notice, no action is taken to convene an NEC meeting as the first step to restoring constitutional order in APC, I will not hesitate to take further actions, including approaching our courts to enforce compliance with the provisions of our party’s constitution under your leadership”.

Lukman said he had on April 5 formally written Adamu on the subject, ‘Restoring Constitutional Order in APC: Demands’.

According to him, the letter outlined nine demands as follows:

“In line with the provision of Article 13.4(ii) of the APC Constitution present report of activities for the last year to the NWC.

“In line with the provision of Article 13.4(iv) of the APC Constitution present a financial report on the income and expenditure of the party for the last year.

“In line with the provision of Article 13.3A(xiv) of the APC Constitution prepare a national budget for the party for the period May – December 2023, which should be ratified by the NWC for the consideration and approval of NEC.

“In line with provisions of Article 13.4(vi) of our party Constitution, which directs the NWC to ‘propose electoral guidelines and regulations governing the conduct of elections to party offices at all levels, and procedure for selecting Party candidates for elective offices’, the NWC should immediately develop a proposal to zone leadership positions for the 10th National Assembly and present to NEC for consideration and approval.

“Hold a NEC meeting before May 29, 2023, and 1 – 4 above should be part of the agenda of the NEC.

“Submit the audited account of the party for 2022 that was submitted to INEC to the NWC.

“Set up a committee to review the 2023 general elections and investigate cases of anti-party activities by leaders and members of the party.

“Given the shameful outcome of the Osun 2022 Governorship election and the embarrassing outcome of the 2023 general elections in Osun State whereby we lost all the three Senatorial seats, all the House of Representatives seats and all the House of Assembly seats in the state, the National Secretary, Sen. Iyiola Omisore who is the most senior party leader in the state should immediately resign. In addition, the NWC should recommend to NEC that a high-powered reconciliation committee should be set up to facilitate the reconciliation of all party leaders in Osun state.

“In order to demonstrate the commitment that we are going to restore constitutional order in the party, actions should commence on all these and NWC should meet within the next two weeks from today, Wednesday, April 5, 2023, to review progress”.

He said two weeks since the demands were presented, there was neither acknowledgement nor indication that any of the demands are being considered.

Lukman conceded that although the NWC met on Monday, April 17, 2023, its deliberation was limited to ratifying the party’s Governorship candidates for Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States for onward transmission to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

He said as a member of the NWC, he is scandalized and embarrassed that after one year in office, the NWC is yet to have regular NEC, National Caucus or National Advisory Council (NAC) meetings.

“All the functions of these organs and the decisions expected from them by the constitution are being taken by you, perhaps in consultation with the National Secretary. When it suits you, the NWC is invited to ratify or approve some of your actions and decisions. As a member of NWC, we have never had any session where we were invited to consider any report of activity in the last year. Yet, Article 13.4(ii) of our constitution requires that the NWC submits quarterly reports to NEC. We have never deliberated on any financial report even when Article 13.4(iv) requires that we present quarterly financial reports to NEC. We have never deliberated on a national budget although Article 13.3A(xiv) requires that we present one to NEC and get approval.

“Perhaps, the inability to hold quarterly NEC meetings as provided under Article 25.2(i) of the party’s constitution may be the excuse for not having quarterly reports of activities, quarterly financial reports, and national budgets. It can also be argued that the problem of the inability to hold quarterly NEC meetings go way back to the era of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and is partly responsible for the crisis of leadership during the tenure of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. By extension, it could be argued too that the culture of running affairs of the party based on the discretionary decisions of the National Chairman did not start with the current NWC.

“With you as the National Chairman, an experienced politician and knowledgeable in political jurisprudence, the question of the legality of discretionary decisions within the jurisdiction and scope of issues NEC is empowered by our constitution to take decision should be very clear. Because you have chosen to only run affairs of the party based on your personal discretion, you have committed us to sack our former Directors and appointing new ones without inviting even the NWC to deliberate on it. To the best of my knowledge, all that I could recall is that NWC decided to send all the former Directors on compulsory leave. At no time did the NWC decide that their appointments should be terminated, and new ones should be employed. Assuming the party’s constitution allows you to hire and fire all the staff of the party, the constitution of the party under Article 13.4(ii) has compelled you to present that as part of the quarterly reports to NEC.

“With respect to the national budget, the closest we came to was when April 8, 2022, NEC approved the cost for nomination forms for the 2022 elections. No proposed expenditure of any kind was presented to any organ of the party apart from the budget for the June 2022 National Convention, which was presented to the NWC on the eve of the June 2022 National Convention. Similarly, no report has been rendered to any organ including the NWC about any revenue received by the party. It is however speculated in the media that the party was able to generate over N30 billion from sales of nomination forms to aspiring candidates for the 2023 elections. Our state structures and other lower organs, which statutorily are entitled to shares of the party’s revenue are given very negligible amounts without allowing any organ of the party, including the NWC to make input into what was paid to the states.

“Large scale financial expenditure is being undertaken without any organ of the party including the NWC allowed to perform any form of statutory due diligence. The National Secretariat has been undergoing large scale renovation and both the costs and details of the contract is not provided to any organ of the party including the NWC. Without a national budget approved by NEC as required by our constitution, all decisions on financial expenditure are limited to your benevolent disposition.

“Unfortunately, because this is the reality, there are party members who have rendered services during the process of nominating candidates for the 2023 elections that are yet to be paid their entitlements. There is also the decision to refund party members who bought nomination forms to contest for position of party leadership during the March 28, 2022 National Convention that elected us but were asked to stepped down to facilitate our emergence as consensus candidates, but are yet to be refunded”, he added.

Vanguard recalls that on December 26, 2022, Lukman had also written Adamu on the subject “Democracy and Accountability: Concerns about State of Affairs of APC”.

In the letter, he had said; “The current NWC under your leadership should stop acting as a Trojan Horse programmed to destroy our party. Only compliance with and respect for our constitution by allowing all our superior organs, notably NEC, National Caucus and NAC, to function and take decisions accordingly, which should be binding on all party leaders and members can secure our party. This is not negotiable!”

Although Adamu, who is reportedly outside the country could not be reached via his known telephone lines, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka would also not respond to calls or messages seeking his reaction to Lukman’s latest outburst.

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