The parallel Peoples Democratic Party led by Abubakar Baraje has said the faction of the party led by Dr. Bamanga Tukur should be deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission.It hinged its position on what it described as the failure of the faction to complying with Section 222(D) of the 1999 Constitution which requires a political party to notify INEC of any alteration of its constitution.The PUNCH learnt of this on Tuesday shortly after the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenh, said the seven governors who aligned with a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and others to form the Baraje -led faction had genuine grievances.The position of the faction known as the ‘New PDP’ is part of the statement of claims before the Lagos High Court,Ikeja . The faction is also seeking the declaration of Tukur as illegal chairman of the PDP on the grounds that he was not properly accepted as a member of the PDP after his expulsion by the National Executive Council of the party in 2001.According to the statement of claims, “It will be recalled that the 2009 PDP Constitution was amended which brought about the 2012 PDP constitution. More Interesting
“Evidence has surfaced to prove that strange clauses which were not part of the proposed amendment to the 2009 Constitution was inserted into the originally produced version of the 2012 Constitution and those alterations were not approved by the party’s convention and the NEC, thereby making the document a forged document which is invalid.“The forged 2012 Constitution was not equally filed before INEC as required by the 1999 Constitution, thereby making the PDP constitution upon which the 2013 convention was held an invalid document and the outcome of that convention invalid, as it was held with no valid constitution.“The proof of these evidences can be seen in the approved memo by the PDP NEC upon which the amendment was done in the 2012 and the original version of the PDP constitution filed with INEC will as well prove these violations.”
On why Tukur was not capable of presiding over the PDP convention, the statement of claims noted that, “exactly on May 31, 2001, the PDP NEC, after its meeting in Abuja, expelled eight members of the PDP in accordance with the PDP constitution which gives the NEC the powers to discipline NEC members who breach the constitution.
They were expelled after NEC considered and adopted the report of the Iro Dan Musa-led PDP Disciplinary Committee. Alhaji Tukur, Chief Don Etiebet, Asheik Jarma, Edwin Ume-Ezeoke (late), Emmanuel Ibeshi, Harry Marshal and Gbenga Olawepo, were the ones expelled from the PDP.
“Note that Article 10(b) iii of the PDP 2009 constitution and Article 8(17) of the 2012 amended constitution which holds that any member of the party who loses his membership by expulsion can only return to the party with the approval of the party executive at his ward, state and national levels, who shall give him a waiver.
“Since the expulsion of Tukur in 2001, he has not complied with the above requirement , meaning that his purported participation at the 2012 convention where he was elected was a fraud and invalid, as he is not yet a member of the party.”
The Baraje’s faction is also asking the court to declare the August 2013 convention as illegal based on the participation of “illegal delegates;” the disqualification of duly elected delegates; and the failure of the party to comply with the provision of Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act.
Section 85(1) of the Act states, “a registered political party shall give INEC at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, and other governing bodies.”
Also on Tuesday, a group, the PDP Stakeholders Forum, filed a fresh law suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking the nullification of PDP mini- convention and the sacking of Tukur.
In the suit, the forum also asked INEC to deregister the Tukur-led PDP faction for allegedly using a forged 2012 constitution to hold the convention.
The Chairman of the forum, Chief Ikenga Ugochinyere, said, “We insist that this act of brazen criminality must not go unpunished. The perpetrators of this heinous crime against the party and the law of the land should be arrested and charged to court.
“Tukur is ab-initio not a bonafide member of the PDP that is capable of being elected into the office he currently occupies. Alhaji Tukur was expelled by the National Executive Committee of the party after being indicted for “high level anti-party activities” alongside five others in May 31, 2001.”
Tukur however denied the allegation that he was not a member of the party.
Speaking through his aide, Mr. Oliver Okpala, he asked for evidence that he was no longer a member of the party.
“Tukur is among the founding fathers of the PDP. He has paid his dues and the allegation that he has been suspended should be ignored. Let those making the allegation show evidence that he is no longer a member of the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PDP BoT Chairman, Anenih, has said the seven aggrieved PDP governors had genuine grievances.
Anenih, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, also said that the Tuesday (yesterday) peace talks between President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP governors, including the aggrieved ones, had been postponed till next Tuesday.
He explained that the shift was at the instance of the aggrieved governors, adding that the peace talks would continue next Tuesday after selected party leaders of the party would have met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday as part of the wider consultations demanded by parties to the crisis.
He said, “I believe some of them have genuine grievances; but I have hope that, once the grievances are addressed, they will come back. I am happy that the PDP has an internal mechanism for effective conflict resolution. At the end of the day, the problems will be addressed and the PDP will come out of the crisis stronger.
“Part of the wider consultations is the meeting of selected party leaders with Chief Obasanjo on Friday morning and thereafter, we will meet with the governors on Tuesday, next week.”
He disclosed that the aggrieved governors told the Presidency and the PDP leadership that they needed more time to make wider consultations. Anenih explained that the Presidency and the PDP leadership were taking advantage of the postponement to also consult widely on how to amicably resolve the crisis.
The BoT chairman, who read out the resolution of the marathon meeting that held in the Presidential Villa from Sunday night till the early hours of Monday, expressed optimism that the problems would be resolved.
Anenih had at the end of the meeting read a short resolution to the hearing of the PDP governors.
Source ; Punch Nigeria.