The founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Boniface Aniebonam, has described the purported expulsion of the Ogun State Chairman of the party, Olaposi Oginni, by the National Working Committee as unconstitutional and illegal.
Aniebonam, while insisting he was not aware of the expulsion, noted that the action of the party’s working committee does not have his blessings.
The NNPP national publicity secretary, Dr Agbo Major, had announced the expulsion of the Oginni-led Ogun State executive over alleged involvement in anti-party activities.
Major said the leadership of the party in Ogun State worked against the party’s interest and endorsed other party candidates in the state.
Oginni, however, described his expulsion by the NNPP’s NWC as a decision that cannot stand in the face of the law.
He stressed that the expulsion by the party’s working committee is just a waste of time, adding that the NNPP leadership has committed contempt of court.
Reacting to the expulsion in a statement, the NNPP founder stressed that the party’s NWC did not follow due process and procedures in the expulsion of Oginni as Ogun chairman.
Aniebonam explained that the national convention of the party has the final authority to expel a member, stressing that it is beyond the NWC to publicly announce Oginni’s expulsion without due process.
He added, “The action of the NWC does not have my blessing, because they need to follow processes and procedures for whatever decision they want to take.
“For me, it is the constitutional issue for a fair hearing. Before you take any action, you must grant that person a fair hearing. That action did not go well with me.
“There is a need for the rule of law, we should not be acting in contradiction to the rule in carrying out responsibilities.
“There are organs of the party, the powerful institution of the party and all that. I can tell you that the national convention is the highest platform of the party, the next is the board, the third is NEC and the four is NWC. That means before the NWC can expel somebody, they have to report to the board in that regard.
“There is a breach of the rule of law, there is a breach of processes and procedures. It is my hope that some of these things will need to be nipped in the bud so as not to cause avoidable public distress.”
However, Aniebonam urged members of the party in the state to remain calm and not resort to violence.
“I can only ask the Ogun State members to keep calm, they should not take to violence.
“In summary, what I just told you now is that even for any reason you think anti-party activities happened, why go to the extreme of expulsion? Why didn’t you suspend the person and wait for further action?
“Because it is only the National Convention that has the power to expel somebody. And if you have expelled somebody and you say okay, you want it ratified by the National Convention, it is useless because you have finished with what you are doing now.”