The former National Vice Chairman (South-South), All Progressives Congress (APC), Hilliard Eta, has rejected his expulsion by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, which met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He described the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee as an illegal contraption, which had no constitutional powers to make pronouncements on issues it had so far delved into concerning the party.
He said he remained the acting chairman of the party.
The NEC had announced the extension of the tenure of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee by six months, effective December 25, 2020.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the committee attended by the President Muhammadu Buhari ; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other party chieftains.
While Buhari, Osinbajo, leaders of the National Assembly and state governors elected on the platform of the party attended the meeting at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, other party chiefs participated virtually.
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting,said NEC also approved the expulsion of Eta for his failure to withdraw the court case instituted against the caretaker committee.
“The third resolution is that NEC approved the expulsion of Ntufam Hilliard Eta from the party for flouting the directives of NEC to discontinue all litigation against the party and its members,” El-Rufai said.
Reacting to the announcement of his expulsion, Eta said: “You are aware that I’m in court based on the fact that even the NEC of June 25 was an illegal meeting and today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting again is an illegality built on illegality; it is a nullity.
“And you are also aware that there is a Supreme Court judgement that whenever a member of an organisation is in court pertaining to that organisation, the power of discipline is divested from that organisation on the person in court.
“So, the illegal contraption cannot speak for NEC that is not properly constituted. Even if it was properly constituted, the NEC of a party cannot take the place of the courts. I’m in court and I await a judicial pronouncement on the matter,” Eta said.
Responding to a question on whether he still considers himself as a member of the APC following the ratification of his expulsion by NEC, he said: “I’m the acting National Chairman of the APC. And as the acting National Chairman of the party, if you go through our constitution, the only organ that can discipline me is the convention of the party. I am a constitutionalist.”