27th May, 2013
The National Working Committee (NWC) of Nigeria’s ruling PDP has inaugurated an 11-man investigative panel to investigate the petition against Gov. Chibuike Ameachi of Rivers by the state party executives.
Mr Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the party, made this known at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
According to Metuh, the panel has Mr Joe Gadzama (SAN) as Chairman and Mr Anicho Okoro as Secretary, while Mr Kwon Victor, Mr Inalegwu Onche and Mr Friday Nwosu are members.
Other members are Mr Ola Kukoyi, Mr Wakil Mohammed, Mr Yusuf Jangwe, Mrs Bola Doherty, Mr Tanimu Adamson and Mr Udorji Amedu.
The PDP NWC had in an earlier communiqué, suspended Amaechi after considering the petition. The decision it said was taken at the end of the NWC emergency meeting.
Amaechi was suspended following his refusal to obey the directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind his decision dissolving the elected Executive Council of Obiokpor Local Government Area of Rivers.
According to Metuh, the investigation panel will handle all matters in connection with the NWC decisions suspending Amaechi. He however, did not state the duration of the panel. Metuh said Amaechi`s suspension would remain, pending the outcome of the investigation panel as constituted.
“The overall thing that had been done today does not mean that the decision on the governor is final or has been concluded.
It is going to be investigated and there would be questions. There are two sides to every story and we expect that side to come up. But we have done what we have done constitutionally, having taken into consideration the powers given to the NWC by the constitution.’’
He maintained that the PDP leadership was not out to victimise Amaechi, but to ensure discipline in the party.
Metuh said Ameachi’s suspension from the party had nothing to do with the purported Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) election held last Friday.
He added that the PDP had no direct dealing with the forum, adding that it was only concerned about the PDP Governors Forum, which he said was for the promotion of the party’s policies and programmes.
“We have not come to destroy, condemn or rule that the governor of Rivers is wrong or that he should be dealt with. What we have come to do, is to apply the provisions of our constitution as laid down by the founding fathers of our party. We do not interfere in the affairs of a state and how they handle their affairs, but on this particular issue, a lawful organ of the party issued directive to a member of the party who is a governor and he is supposed to be a leader of the party.’’
According to him, the constitution expects the governor to obey a lawfully constituted organ of the party and at least, make representation.
He said that issues of disobedience and bringing the party to ridicule was greatly condemned by the party’s leadership and constitution.