Enugu All Progressives Congress, APC, expels an ex-Governor, a former party chair and four others for alleged anti-party activities.
The party banished former military Governor of Bauchi State, Group Capt Joe Orji alongside former party chair, Chief Ben Nwoye.
APC State Secretary, Robert Ngwu, announced the suspensions as State Executive Council (SEC) rose from its meeting today, 4 May.
The immediate past State Executive Committee of the party led by Prince Chikwado Chukwunta hitherto suspended Nwoye.
The suspension was subsequently ratified by the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
Today’s meeting converted Nwoye’s suspension to expulsion alongside five others, Secretary Ngwu said.
The five stalwarts expelled are Group Capt. Joe Orji, Mr. Kingsley Uduji, Mr. Chidera Obed, Mr. Obodoeze Ocho and Chukwudi Igwe.
Nwoye however described his ouster as “a ruse.”
The party alleged that former Chairman Nwoye “conspired with some elements to illegally break into the party store.
He “unlawfully took away party properties and sensitive documents” while serving his suspension.
“All attempts to peacefully recover the properties and documents were unsuccessful.
“Consequently, our legal team, given the critical requirements of the Electoral Law, has written to the National and Zonal EXCO to help the State Chapter recover the party properties.”
Ngwu accused Nwoye of engaging in anti-Party activities “which tend to disrupt the peaceful, lawful, and efficient organization of the Party.”
The party also accused two expelled members, Obodoeze Ochi and Chukwudi Igwe, of sponsoring three others to take the party to court.
The litigants are as follows:
- Kingsley Uduji who filed Suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/1318/2021 against the party;
- Dr Orji Joseph Orji took up Suit No FHC/CS/57/22 against the party; and
- Chidera Obed filed Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/1536/2021 also against the Party.
The party therefore sanctioned the three litigants and their alleged sponsors.
The Secretary quoted Article 21(A)(X) of the APC Constitution which stipulates expulsion for anybody who files action against the Party.
“Subject to Article 21 (A), subsections (ii), (v), (vi), (vii), (ix), and (x) of its constitution, Group Captain Orji, Mr. Kingsley Uduji, Dr. Joseph Orji, Mr. Chidera Obed, Mr. Ododoeze Ocho, and Barr. Chukwudi Igwe are hereby expelled from the Party for filing court action without exhausting the avenues for redress as provided in its Constitution.
“This disciplinary action is in line with Article 13.7, subsection (vi), and takes immediate effect.”
Ngwu said an expanded meeting of both State Executive Committee (SEC) and Senatorial District Committee (SDC) sanctioned the expulsion.
The meeting was well attended, including by the 17 Local Government Chairmen of the party.
State party Chairman, Barr. Ugochukwu Agballah told newsmen that his executive will not be distracted by those who want the party to remain in perpetual crisis. They do this to allow the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which allegedly sponsors them, continue to win elections in the state.
Nwoye in particular, he said, tended to be more PDP than APC, and fights every stakeholder of the party in the state.
He listed Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; former Senate President Ken Nnamani, and Director-General VON, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, as leaders he previously fought.
It’s a Ruse, says Nwoye
But reacting to the party’s action, the former chairman of APC, Nwoye described the expulsion as a ruse, adding that it had become overused by the same people.
He said Agballah was only being jittery having heard that he (Nwoye) had bought APC governorship nomination form, a fear he said was unfounded because he was yet to pick the nomination form.
On the expulsion of other party chieftains, Nwoye stated that the party constitution does not forbid members from going to court.
Enugu APC expels ex-Governor, former party chair