The Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy on Monday faulted the renewed threat issued by the National Working Committee of ruling All Progressives Congress to sanction members of the party who went to court to seek redress over the party’s recent.
It had been reported that despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent position that aggrieved party members were free to approach the courts for redress, the party’s NWC insisted that members who had cases in court must withdraw them.
The group’s National President, Igbini Emmanuel, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja said the position of the party’s NWC was against the fundamental human rights of every Nigerian to seek redress in court rather than resorting to self-help.
Emmanuel said, “In addition, this amounts to threat to our hard-earned democracy and disrespect and disregard for fundamental human rights which include the right of everyone and all members of APC to approach competent courts of law to seek redress in perceived cases of injustice.
“It is very important to note that this right is guaranteed to all Nigerians by Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Section 36 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended.
“No group of persons under any association or political party can deprive anyone of exercising this universal right, not even in the dark days of military dictatorship was this right of Nigerians threatened.”
Emmanuel said constitutions of political parties’ constitutions were inferior to the nation’s Constitution.
He said Article 20 of the APC’s constitution being relied on by the NWC was null and void and of no effect whatsoever on any member of the APC, describing as “offensive to sane democratic society.”
He added, “APC like other political parties is given birth to by Section 221 of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended, and all its activities and Constitution are regulated strictly by Sections 222 – 227 of the Nigerian Constitution.
“It is imperative to state also that there is no section of the Nigerian Constitution which gives power to NWC of APC to take away the constitutional right of Nigerians who are members of APC to approach any court to address their grievances.
“This threat by the NWC of the APC is also a very dangerous attempt to oust our judiciary and usurp the Constitutional powers of the courts to hear and resolve disputes brought before them.”