The North East zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday inaugurated the reconstituted three-member disciplinary panel to investigate the allegations levelled against the `suspended’ Vice-Chairman of the zone, Mustapha Salihu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration of the investigative panel was carried out by the Zonal Secretary of the party, Abubakar Ajiya, at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
The inauguration came in spite the dismissal of the suspension of Mr Salihu by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The APC on Monday through its national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu said: “We state categorically that the purported suspension is a nullity as the “North East Zonal Office” does not have such powers to suspend a National Officer.
But, the zonal secretary, Mr Ajiya, said the panel had been reconstituted with Abubakar Tutare, a former senator, from Taraba State as chairman.
He said Sani Haruna from Adamawa State would serve as Secretary and Abdulkadir S. Abdulkadir from Bauchi State as member.
According to him, the committee is mandated to look into the allegations of alleged forgery, failure to convene meetings, causing disharmony and disunity preferred against the suspended vice chairman.
Also speaking at the event, the North East Youth Leader, Kassim Maigari, quoted section 21D of the APC constitution to support the suspension of the Vice-Chairman.
According to him, the zone has the powers to discipline the suspended vice chairman.
He said the panel had been given five working days to submit its report.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Tutare assured the party that the panel would be fair to all parties.
He said: “We will be fair to all and give a report that will stand the test of time. We will make sincere recommendations in the interest of our party.’’
The Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), North East Zone, Abubakar Ajiya, had on Saturday announced the suspension of Mustapha Salihu, the Zonal Chairman of the zone.
Mr Ajiya, in a letter addressed to Mr Salihu through the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, entitled; `Re: Letter of Vote of No Confidence’ which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the suspension was in line with the party’s article 21D.
The letter read: “Having failed to fulfill or appear before this Honourable body, the North East Zonal Office called upon at Jose Martins Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja dated 11/10/2018.
“This letter is an expression of our `Vote of No Confidence’ in Mustapha Salihu based on the power vested on us in artcle 21D: VI, he is hereby suspended with immediate effect for his inability to run the party affairs judiciously, prudently, democratically and accountably.’’
The secretary revealed that the charges against Mr Salihu included his failure to call meeting as and when due contrary to Article 25D: 1, and for allegedly causing disunity among members of the party in the zone.
But, when contacted on telephone, the APC deputy chairman, dismissed the allegations against him, saying those who took the decision to suspend him had no constitutional right to do so.
He explained that only 1/3 of the Zonal Executive Committee, North East, comprising of about 150 members could suspend any official in the zone in line with Article 12.6 of the party.
Mr Salihu, who described his suspension as a joke, alleged that the signature of the Women Leader, Amina Manga, on the purported suspension letter was forged.
“The women leader spoke to me today, said that she was not part of the Abuja meeting, where they took their decision to suspend me,’’ he said.