The faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) National Executive Committee (NEC), led by Alhaji Sadeeq Massala, Tuesday described the purported removal of the former Minister of Health, Dr. Tim Menakaya, from the party's Board of Trustees (BoT) as a nullity.
The National Secretary of the Massala-led faction, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, who disclosed this also insisted that the National Secretary, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, who made the declaration had no legal status to do so as only the national convention of the party could approve the removal of Menakaya from the BoT.
Shinkafi had last week written to Menakaya and two other members of the party's National Working Committee (NWC), who are occupying political positions, informing them that their membership of the various bodies have ceased.
Shinkadi reasoned that having served as a member of our BoT for a period of eight years as at January 11, 2013 representing two-terms as provided for in the party constitution, Menakaya ceased to be a member of the body.
Okwenna in a statement made available to THISDAY Tuesday, faulted the directive by Shinkafi as unconstitutional and of no effect.
He maintained that not only has the suspension slammed on Shinkafi by the party's NEC still subsisting, the constitution of the party did not give anybody the right to remove any such top member from his or her position as claimed by Shinkafi.
Okewnna stated that "having been inundated with calls from Party members and the general public following a letter said to be signed by one Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, the suspended National Secretary of our party to the effect that the tenure of membership in the Board of Trustee of the only surviving member of that privileged and respected organ of the party, Dr Tim Menakaya (Ideh) has expired and that our secretariat have written him to that effect," he was compelled to make the clarification.
"The Secretariat of the APGA, do hereby disown such a letter and further send our sincere apology to Dr. Tim Menakaya, for such a disgraceful conduct of the suspended National Secretary of our Party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.
"It could be recalled that Shinkafi has since July 16, 2012 ceased to be The National Secretary of the Party having been suspended alongside the then National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, by a duly convened NEC of the party over a 13-point allegation bothering on maladministration, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability among others.
"The NEC further set up a Disciplinary Committee in line with the provisions of the constitution to investigate the allegation against the duo. The Committee has since completed their assignment and their report shall be presented for ratification at the next National Convention of the party.
"It is therefore preposterous for such suspended National Officer to claim to be acting for the party and in that line attempt to insult the only living symbol of that organ of the party, which is indeed the 'conscience of the party' and on whose trust it is to "ensure high morale of members and highest standard of morality in the party activities.
"It is to our knowledge that Menakaya's effort in ensuring highest moral standard in the administration of the party, brought him and other elders and leaders of the Party such unnecessary antagonism and ridicule from Shinkafi, and Umeh," he said.
He explained that even though Article 10(10) of the party's constitution stipulated the membership and composition of APGA-BoT, it did not give Shinkafi or Umeh the right to unilaterally remove such a top party official from office.
Arguing further, he stressed that "for eight years, Umeh and Shinkafi presided over the party, they failed/neglected to allow the NEC to appoint a 24-man BoT in line with the provisions of the constitution of the party.
"That singular act can showed how they operated and/or respected the party's constitution. Prior to the NEC meeting that suspended them, all efforts to make Umeh and Shinkafi to convene a NEC meeting for the purposes of appointing BoT members as well as for constituting other organs in the party were rebuffed.
"Their refusal stemmed from the fear that as 'maximum rulers' the appointment of full membership of these organs would promote internal democracy and cohesion in the party, and could curtail their excessive and unlimited powers."
Okwenna insisted that no officer of the party had the right to suspend or remove any official without due process, thudding that it is only the National Convention of the party that can remove any trustee of the party.
"Article 10(10o) does not limit the tenure-ship of a Board of Trustee member to eight years only as Shinkafi tries to deceive the public. All the Constitution in this Article state is that the tenure of a BOT member is four years subject to renewal afterwards. The constitution did not state the number of times such renewal shall be.
"Based on the above and in line with the provisions of this constitution, Menakaya remains the only member of the BoT of our party until such a time the Board is reconstituted by the National Convention.
"And by the provisions of our constitution, he is still eligible and eminently qualified for reappointment and if NEC do recommend him for reappointment, he shall be so reappointed without any constitutional inhibition or breaches," he said.