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Nnamani’s lawyer writes PDP over expulsion; says act didn’t follow due process
Enugu-East Senator, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani says the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has no powers to suspend or expel him from the party.
Nnamani explained in a statement in Abuja on Friday that NWC did not follow due process and strict compliance with the provisions of the PDP constitution.
According to him, the NWC, therefore, lacked the powers to suspend or expel him as a member of the National Assembly.
Nnamani in a letter to the PDP NWC, through his Counsel, Olusegun O. Jolaawo, SAN, stated that the NWC had no powers to suspend or expel him, except the National Executive Committee ( NEC).
He quoted copiously the relevant sections of the PDP constitution allegedly breached by the NWC:
“Article 57(7): “Notwithstanding any other provision relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level, except the National Executive Committee, shall entertain any question of discipline as may or concern a member of the National Executive Committee.
Furthermore, “Deputy Governors or members of the National Assembly, provided that nothing in this constitution shall preclude or invalidate any complaint submitted through the National Working Committee to the National Executive Committee concerning any person whatsoever”.
According to him, “Article 59(3) stated that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level, except the National Executive Committee, shall entertain any question of discipline relating or concerning a member of the National Executive Committee.
Such members include the President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers, Ambassadors, Special Advisers or members of any of the legislative houses.
“On Jan 20, the NWC conducted a preliminary disciplinary hearing against our client and approved his suspension from the party for one month, purportedly acting pursuant to Article 57(3) of the Constitution of the PDP.
“It is evident on the basis of Articles 57(7) and 59(3) of the Constitution of your party that no organ of the party, including the National Working Committee, has the competence to entertain any question of discipline against our client, except the National Executive Committee of the party.
He stated that the purported “proceeding of the National Working Committee of the party held on Jan 20 and the decision reached there at, suspending our client from the party is null and void.
” Our client was neither invited to the meeting nor given the opportunity to be heard before the decision against him was taken.
“See Article 57(6) of the Constitution of your party; the National Working Committee lacks the requisite powers to entertain any question of discipline against our client to the extent of suspending or expelling him from the party.
“The proceeding and decision reached at the meeting of the National Working Committee of your party which was held on Jan 20 is therefore, both illegal and a nullity.
“It therefore gives us great concern, that your proposed disciplinary hearing of Feb 8, 2023 as stated in your letter of 1st Feb is built and erected on the illegal and invalid meeting and decision taken by the National Working Committee of your Party.
“Your letter to our client dated 1st Feb made it abundantly clear that the complaint against our client was made to your committee by the National Working Committee.
He said by virtue of the proviso to Article 57(7) of the constitution, the National Working Committee was required to complain on any disciplinary matter against a member of NASS, only to the National Executive Committee of the Party.
“Your committee had not claimed to be the National Executive Committee of the PDP and in fact, is not.
“Your committee, therefore, has no powers under the constitution of the party, to entertain or hear any question of discipline against our client as he is a member of the National Assembly.
“Only a properly constituted National Executive Committee of the party can entertain the such question of discipline against him.
“We, therefore, urge you to reconsider your proposed disciplinary hearing against our client and abort it immediately.
”We have only requested your committee to comply strictly with the clear provisions of the constitution of the party under which you claim to be proceeding.
”Your proposed disciplinary hearing of Feb. 8 is wholly erected on illegality and your committee equally has no powers under the constitution of the party to invite our client for the purpose of entertaining any disciplinary matter against him.”
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