The Deputy National Chairman (North) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lawal Shuaibu, who is demanding the removal of the party’s national chairman, has said he will not appear before a disciplinary committee.
His response was contained in a letter dated June 7 and addressed to the Deputy National Chairman (South), Niyi Adebayo, who is heading the panel.
In the three-page document, Mr Shuaibu accused the party of “painting him dark” and levelling false allegations against him.
Mr Shuaibu had recently called on the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to resign, faulting his leadership style.
The National Working Committee (NWC) however passed a vote of confidence on Mr Oshiomhole despite Mr Shuaibu’s allegations against him.
The NWC also set up a five-member disciplinary committee to investigate Mr Shuaibu.
According to a statement by the party’s ational publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the decision was taken at the 38th regular meeting of the NWC held in Abuja.
He said the committee headed by Mr Adebayo would investigate Mr Shuaibu for allegedly instigating some members of the party in the National Assembly against the party’s decision on the choice of the next leaders of the federal parliament.
The disciplinary committee had summoned Mr Shuaibu.
Mr Shuaibu, who acknowledged receipt of the letter, wondered where the NWC derived the power of discipline.
He referred to Article 21 of the party’s constitution which states that such power shall only be exercised by the party through the respective executive committee of the party at all levels.
He also questioned the presence of the chairman in a meeting where discussions about him were made.
“Given the NWC has the power, how can the Chairman preside over a meeting in which discussions that border on allegations against him are discussed? Let me repeat again as in my letter to the Chairman, YOU CAN’T BE A JUDGE IN YOUR OWN CASE!
“And to even say he was seated there to accept a vote of confidence as well as preside over setting up a committee to punish the member that accused him!,” he said.
He urged the head of the committee to always insist on following the due process of law in order not to drive the party into the mud. He said the fact that the NWC members, before resolving to set up the committee, passed a vote of confidence on the Chairman, puts some doubt to its purpose.
“I can equally imagine how the NWC, an important organ of the Party could convene what was described as a regular meeting for which less than 24 hours’ notice was given, specifically to discuss my opinion on the chairman and even issue a communique in that regard. You are actually making me appear to be more important than I have always felt.
“I am not sure of the source of your meeting with respect to the other shocking allegations contained in your resolutions, but what I read from it in virtually all the Newspapers this morning painted me darker than I am. That I was inciting National Assembly members against the nominees of Mr President is to say the least, that your meeting ran out of creative ideas on how to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“They are weighty allegations, but I don’t get intimidated and for those who know me, I have never in my life, played any double standard and they can tell you that I don‘t tell lies for any favours, because I depend on God for all my needs and every other favour,” he said.
Describing the allegations and the invitation of the committee as illegal, Mr Shuaibu said he will not appear before it.
“Let me state that with due respect to the National Working Committee, an important organ of my Party, I will not appear before your committee as it is illegal and I am too informed to get involved in illegalities.
“If you want to punish me for saying what I still believe is true, then you have to take this matter to where you are avoiding, the National Executive Committee. My advice is, please, let us save this party, as a stitch in time saves nine.”
He assured that there is nothing personal about his response except that “the party is drifting.”