The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as null and void and of no effect, the purpoted expulsion of Dr Cairo Ojougboh, a chieftain of the party in Delta by its Ika South Local Government Area Chairman, Mr Hilary Ibude in March.
Ibude in the expulsion letter dated March 27, had said that the chieftain was expelled from the party following series of petitions and recommendations on his anti-party activities.
Ahmad El- Marzuq, National Legal Adviser of the party in his response letter on the development made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja said the expulsion was null and void.
El-Marzuq explained that the local government party chairman had no evidence to expel Ojougboh, adding that his action was inappropriate because the crucial element of fair hearing was not given to the chieftain to justify the resolution to expel him.
He said the party was in receipt of the expulsion 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 APC National Legal Adviser explained that by the provision of Article 21 of the party’s Constitution, the right to discipline its members was subject to their inalienable right to 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 melted out to Ojougboh by the chairman can only be confirmed and ratified by the party’s National Executive Committee(NEC),” he said.
He further explained that the resolution to expel Ojougboh from the party by the Ika South chapter ought to hav been submitted to the party’s NEC.
“This is in accordance with 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 the chieftain was not in accordance with 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 chapter of the party to adhere strictly with the provisions of the party’s constitution with respect to the discipline of its members.
Recall that the Delta APC had also purportedly suspended Sen. Ovie Omo-agege, the Deputy Senate President and APC Delta governorship candidate in the last election alledging anti party activities. (https://newsatlarge.ng)