Renowned Professor of Law, Itse Sagay (SAN), has lambasted the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, and members of the National Working Committee for threatening to punish aggrieved members of the APC for dragging the party to court.
Sagay, in a statement titled, ‘Let the APC chairman and members of the NWC be warned’, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for cautioning Oshiomhole.
He said Buhari was right when he said that aggrieved persons were free to go to court if they felt the conduct and the outcome of the primaries were flawed.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, had said in a statement that the NWC frowned at the actions of some party members who have resorted to litigation as a way of addressing their perceived grievances and disputation without exhausting the party’s dispute resolution mechanism.
The party had further stated that it intends to “activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their action is capable of undermining the party and hurt its interest.”
However, Sagay said many of the people who clinched the APC tickets were money bags with questionable character.
The senior advocate said the APC constitution was not superior to the Nigerian constitution and as such, the NWC could not punish anyone for going to court.
He, therefore, stated that the aggrieved persons had a right to go to court.
Sagay added, “Even more devastating to the position of the APC NWC is Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which gives everyone a right of fair hearing before a court or a tribunal established by law for the determination of civil rights and obligations.
“So the President was very right when he urged every one of the aspirants who felt cheated or defrauded, to go to court. The vain and impetuous declaration by the embattled APC NWC to still expel members exercising their inalienable common law and constitutional rights, in spite of the President’s directive, is a clear exercise in childish futility; a precursor of major humiliation.
“So, the chairman and members of the NWC of the APC are warned to heed the advice of the President or risk exposing themselves to a major embarrassment.
“After all, if their preferred candidates actually won their primaries, why this terrible apprehension of judicial review of the primary results? Or are they harbouring a morbid fear of exposure?”