The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has reversed the expulsion of Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, a former member of the House of Representatives and party chieftain in Delta State, Nigeria.
Ojougboh was initially expelled from the party for alleged anti-party activities and unethical conduct during the presidential and governorship elections.
The expulsion letter, dated March 27 and signed by the APC Chairman of Ika South Local Government in Delta State, Hilary Ibude, cited several petitions against Ojougboh as the basis for his expulsion, claiming that his actions were detrimental to the party’s success.
However, Ojougboh contested his expulsion, alleging that it was orchestrated by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege and certain members of the party’s executive committee in Delta State.
The APC has now nullified the expulsion, effectively reinstating Ojougboh as a member of the party.
He further labelled the state excos of the party as ‘Omo-Agege’s boys.’
But two months after he was kicked out, the ruling party through its National Legal Adviser, Ahmad El- Marzuq, has overturned the sack, saying Ojougboh remains a bonafide member of the party.
El-Marzuq has stated that the expulsion action taken against him by the APC was inappropriate for several reasons. Firstly, the party failed to bring the matter to the notice of the APC National Executive Committee.
Additionally, he claims that he was not given a fair hearing, as he was not provided with an opportunity to justify or defend himself against the resolution to expel him.
El-Marzuq highlights the lack of fair hearing as a crucial element that was absent in the expulsion process.
The statement read, “I have gone through the resolution of the Chairman of Ika South Local Government Area approving the expulsion of Ojougboh from the party. And it is my observation from the documents availed to the party that there was no evidence that the crucial element of fair hearing was afforded to Ojougboh to justify the resolution to expel him.”
El- Marzuq further affirmed that by the provision of Article 21 of the party’s Constitution, the right to discipline its members was subject to their inalienable right to fair hearing.
“Without evidence of compliance with the basic procedure of disciplining a member of the party as envisaged in Article 21 of our party’s Constitution. The expulsion of Ojougboh from the party would be null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
“Secondly, it is important to mention that the punishment of expulsion meted out to Ojougboh by the chairman can only be confirmed and ratified by the party’s National Executive Committee. Therefore, the resolution to expel Ojougboh is null and void and of no effect whatsoever occasioned by the failure of the Executives of Ika South Local Government Area,” he said.