We sincerely disagree and view with bias the letter INEC wrote to us which referred to the general meeting of our state chairmen held on the 28th May 2012 (where a vote of no confidence was passed on the assumed former Tony Momoh led NEC) as “purported Annual General Meeting of State/Protem Chairmen”. Responding further (to our letter intimating INEC of the development in our party which necessitated the intervention of the 31 state EXCOS to apply the doctrine of necessity aimed at saving CPC from total chaos and averting lacuna in the National leadership of the party) INEC stated that “the meeting was not held in accordance with the constitution of our party which is therefore invalid and as such cannot accept any decision taken at the said meeting”.
INEC had on the 11th day of January, five days after the illegal convention that brought in the purported former Tony Momh led NEC, in a letter with reference no INEC/DPPM&L/CPC/266 also conveyed its observation to our party that congresses were not held in 20 states which left the number of delegates that attended the convention at 17 states far less than at least the required 24 states to meet up with the stipulated 2/3 requirement by our party constitution and the electoral act. But the same illegal NEC is enjoying recognition from INEC while the incumbent and the authentic leadership (Protem NEC) have been in court claiming its mandate. A caretaker committee duly elected on acting capacity by overwhelming majority of 31 states is said to have emerged through an unconstitutional meeting and that all such decisions reached at such meeting not acceptable to INEC.
Earlier before this, INEC had unilaterally without a judicial interpretation of the Supreme Court’s judgment withdrawn the certificate of our authentic 11 members from Kastina state that contested and won seats into the National Assembly on the premise that the Supreme Court judgment stated that only political parties can nominate candidates. But the Electoral Act as amended also made it clear that no candidate can benefit from an election he/she did not participate. The irony of INEC’S decision to substitute our authentic candidate names that appeared on form CF001 & co and truly participated in the election is questionable. Therefore INEC couldn’t have claimed ignorant of names of people who participated in that election when the necessary forms that contained the names of people who participated in the said elections are with them. Another development in the saga is that the PDP candidate who contested against our party has presently gone to challenge the CPC candidate presently occupying the seat in court on the ground that he was not the one who contested against him at 2011 National Assembly election.
In its hasty manner of making judicial decisions INEC has again conveyed to us that the decision of the 31 state chairmen of our party (overwhelming majority) to dissolve an illegal EXCO by all parameter and the composition of an 11 man caretaker committee enabled by the doctrine of necessity to ensure that there is no vacuum pending the determination of all suits related to the purported convention is unconstitutional. While INEC recognizes the purported Tony Momoh led NEC which emerged in a convention participated by delegates from 17 states short of at least 24 states of the federation in line with our party constitution and the electoral act, the same INEC is now interpreting our party constitution to us simply because we conveyed a decision of 31 state EXCOS to them.
Although we do not intend to join issues with anybody, we wish to inform INEC that writing the commission of the development was to notify them of our internal ongoing development and reform. We acknowledge the commission as a body statutorily charged with the responsibilities of overseeing the affairs of political parties but not in a biased manner. It is of note that INEC as an observer does not have the constitutional right to interpret party constitutions or the right to comment on issues which is subject matter of the court; our national leadership strife. The Caretaker Committee is in acting capacity. Our step was purely an administrative convenience that would avert the impending lacuna looming in our party. With all due respect we humbly wish to remind INEC that the powers of INEC as spelt out in the 1999 act establishing it does not include judicial powers. Section 6 of the country’s constitution vested such powers on the court. The moment the commission is seen to be biased in the discharge of its duties our nascent and fragile democracy will certainly not see the light of the day.
We therefore wish to reiterate that we had no option other than apply the doctrine of necessity and save our beloved party from total chaos and collapse. Hence, it was necessary to pass a vote of no confidence on the purported Tony Momoh led National leadership. There is now a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the party pending when all issues on the national leadership are resolved.
We also wish to remind INEC of the good work it started in the pending petition to the IG of police since 8th September, 2011 against Prince Tony Momoh and Engr Bubagaladima who allegedly forged the signatures of Senator Yusuf Musa Nagogo and Hon Emmanuel David Omubugado of the CPC Nasarawa state claiming that the duo had in a letter purportedly signed by them withdrawn from the elections to pave way for Ewuga Solom and Idris Yauza Yakubu for Senate and House of Representative respectively. Yusuf Musa Nagogo and Hon Emmanuel David Omubugado of the CPC Nasarawa state had in a letter complained to the INEC chairman that they did not withdraw from the contest and had as such neither wrote nor signed the letters of withdrawal. They therefore were surprised on how their names appeared and signatures appended on the Form CF004 (Notice of Change of Candidate). The CPC is eagerly waiting for the outcome of that matter. The commission is at liberty to get a court order compelling the police to prosecute all those involved in that case should the police show sign of unwillingness to do so. Or are some people playing down on the matter and may be to bring it up at the appropriate time should the need arise?
We salute the courage and wisdom Prof Jegga in trying to move the commission forward. He should not allow bad eggs within the commission, who sometimes connive with desperate politicians, to drag him backwards.
On the other hand we appreciate moves by political parties to go into alliance with the CPC, but we also caution that such moves be kept in the cooler for now pending when issues revolving around the national leadership of our party is resolved. Any form of arrangement for now on issues of alliances may be distractive to our effort in repositioning our party. All organs of our party shall be involved in the discussion at the appropriate time.
On the programs of our interim leadership, the NCC (National Caretaker Committee) will commence visits to all the party formations nationwide next week after our weekly meeting which comes up in Abuja. The visit is intended to intimate our members and supporters on the recent developments and assure them that the black days of recklessness, impunity and sabotage by our presumed national leadership are over. We will cap the tour with the official takeover of our National Secretariat. Last time our Secretariat was filed with police men. But we wish to assure Tony Momoh and co that no man born of a woman can stop our resolve to take over the secretariat. The building belongs to Sen Hanga while the Secretariat is the official property of the party.
Our National Caretaker Committee meeting will be held at a future date to be announced later.
Finally, our lawyers are studying the possibility of challenging INEC’S flagrant ascription of judicial functions to themselves. This is not an act of confrontation rather it is part of our own contribution in strengthening the institutions of democracy. Alternatively, we may pay a courtesy call on the INEC chairman and air our opinion on some of our observations on the commission’s activities.
Alhaji Abubakar Hayatu
Chairman CPC National Caretaker Committee