News

May 22, 2024

Lukman writes Tinubu, threatens court action over alleged constitutional breaches

NASS Leadership

By Omeiza Ajayi

The immediate-past National Vice Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Salihu Moh. Lukman has written President Bola Tinubu, threatening a lawsuit against the leadership of the party for serial violations of its constitution.

In the letter dated May 21, 2024 and titled ‘APC and Subversion of Nigerian Democracy’, Lukman said he was compelled to write the letter since the party is operating almost blindly without recourse to provisions of the APC Constitution.

According to him, it was deeply concerning to note that the APC since inception in 2013 has operated without a Board of Trustees BoT.

He said, “Meetings of organs as specified by relevant provisions of the APC Constitution are not taking place. Decisions, which established organs of the party are expected to take, are being taken by individual leaders outside those organs.

“One of the critical organs, the Board of Trustees, which is renamed National Advisory Council has not been inaugurated since the formation of the APC in July 2013. With such reality the National Working Committee NWC of the party has appropriated the powers of all organs and in its name the National Chairman is taking discretionary decisions.

“With such reality, many of the decisions taken not only violate sections of the APC Constitution but also undermine Sections 221 — 229 of Part Il of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended as well as the Electoral Act 2022.

“As things are, we have been regressing democratically as a nation. Due to inability to comply with statutory provisions regulating the conduct of political parties, we are embarrassingly running governments that don’t value principles of consultations and respecting valid agreements contracted through diligent political negotiations.

“Consequently, all the serial decisions taken without references to organs of the APC and complying with subsisting internal agreements have resulted in outright violation of relevant provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended, which imposes the requirement to ensure the establishment of an inclusive governments at all levels.

“As a committed member of APC and as someone who has worked hard and made so many sacrifices for the growth and development of the party, I find our current reality highly unacceptable. I have made several requests to meet with you for more than a year now since your election as President of the Federal Republic, which, perhaps understandably, you have been unable to grant.

“Although you had time to meet political mercenaries who campaigned against your election during the 2023 elections, but you don’t deem it important to meet people like me who fought hard against all odds on your side.

“Without sounding arrogant, Your Excellency, I want to remind you that the commitment of some of us to democracy is not about occupying offices or enriching ourselves. We have been in the trenches fighting for democracy almost all our lives.

“Having resigned from the leadership of the party, I remained very active and obedient in the hope that all the circumstances that led to the agitation, which compelled Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and Sen. lyiola Omisore to resign would be redressed. Unfortunately, instead, things have gotten worse.

“The other reality is also that, I never imagined that under your leadership, being someone who has also been in the trenches fighting for democracy, you will be associated with decisions that outrightly subverts our democracy. Yet here we are stagnant with such reality. Every attempt to access you has been blocked.

“Therefore, being a lesser mortal, and someone who is committed to the development of our democracy, I want to kindly demand that every necessary initiative should be started between now (May 21, 2024) and June 7, 2024 to activate all organs of the APC in line the extant provisions of the party’s Constitution.

“Failure to do that will compel me as a patriotic Nigerian and loyal party member who has paid his dues to seek legal redress. Democracy is meaningless without functional political parties. When leaders of the ruling party deliberately subvert the provisions of the party’s constitution, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2022, membership of the party is rendered useless.

“As citizens, committed to the development, protection and survival of democracy, it is incumbent on us to initiate every legitimate civil and legal action to enforce compliance with extant provisions of all the laws that regulate the conduct of political parties and their leadership.

“I do hope Your Excellency will recover his democratic and progressive credentials and immediately initiate actions towards deeper political reforms in the country, starting with our party, APC.

“While looking forward to full-scale return to constitutional and legal order in APC, kindly accept the assurances of my highest esteem”.

The letter was copied to the APC National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Vice President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, House Speaker Abbas Tajudeen; Chairman, Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Sen. Hope Uzodinma and all past APC national chairmen.