The North Central Integrity Group, NCIG, has urged the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to investigate what it described as sudden resignation of Arch. Shehu Tukur as APC Zonal Chairman, Nasarawa Western Senatorial District, to contest for the Senatorial seat of the district.
The Coordinator of the group, Jacob Nuhu, in a statement on Saturday, also called for an investigation into the process of the resignation of Barr. Labaran Magaji, a Prosecuting Counsel, Federal Ministry of Justice, who is also contesting for the Senatorial position.
Mr Nuhu noted that the resignation violated the provision of the Electoral Act and the APC Constitution which if ignore by the APC NEC will affect its integrity.
The statement said: “It is very imperative for us as a pro democracy group to draw the attention of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on the violation of the Electoral Act and APC Constitution in the process of the resignation of appointments of Arc Shehu Tukur Sarkin Padan Keffi Emirate, as the APC Zonal Chairman for Nasarawa West Senatorial District.
“This is borne out of desire to protect and defend the interest of the entire peace-loving members of the APC family from the North Central and particularly Nasarawa West Senatorial District. Failure to investigate the This is to serve the party from the impending danger which is about to happen and may likely destroy the party and deny the members active representation from the party if left unchecked.
“The issues involved centred around the entire process of resignation of appointment which provides the gate way for the participation of public servant and political party office holders into canvassing for elective political offices which conditions are provided for under the relevant statutes i.e., the APC constitution 2022, the Public Service Rules 2008 edition and other extant laws.”
The group warned that any attempt to circumvent the provisions of the relevant statutes in whatever manner could lead the party to no other option than to lose the required representation on the ground of flagrant breach of the relevant provisions in the statutes.
The integrity group also called on the APC Screening Committee to thoroughly interrogate the validity of the entire process of resignation of the two aspirants in order to avoid visiting the party with shameful or unpleasant consequences.
Continuing, the statement said: “In the case of Arch. Shehu Tukur, Sarkin Padan Keffi, he was until his belated resignation, the APC Zonal Chairman, Nasarawa Western Senatorial District. He chose the option of resigning under Article 31(2)(III) of the APC Constitution 2022 which requires him to resign 30 days prior to the party primaries.
“Tukur claimed to have written a letter of resignation to the party in Nasarawa state since April 21, 2022 but never submitted same to the party for necessary action until May 6, 2022 and in the interim, he chose to attend the Nasarawa State Working Committee meeting as a Zonal Chairman from Nasarawa west at the party’s office in Lafia on the April 28, 2022, which is in total disregard of his so-called desire to resign within the statutory period of 30 days required by law.
“The import of his letter of resignation that he claimed has since been written by him but not served never took effect on the date it was written but on the very date it was received and acknowledged by the Party.
“And therefore, if it is considered as having been served on the Party on the 6th May 2022, and judging its’ effect against the release of the timetable for party primaries on 24th May,2022 by the party national headquarters will only attest to a very flagrant breach of the Party Constitution on the inability to attain the statutory 30 days prior to the Primaries.
“It is important to note that the Nasarawa state APC Working Committee without hesitation acknowledged the receipt of his resignation letter on 6th May,2022 and accepted his resignation with effect from the 6th May,2022 ignoring the fraudulent backdating of the letter of resignation to the 21st April,2022.
“It can be deduced from all indications that the entire process of his resignation of appointment as chosen by him of 30 days prior to primary election is invalid and therefore cannot in any way satisfy the provision of Article 3(2)(III) of the APC constitution.
“Similarly, Barr. Labaran Magaji, (Matawalen Toto), was employed as an officer in the public service working with the Federal Ministry of Justice as a Senior Prosecuting Counsel who is also aspiring to represent the western senatorial zone in the Red chambers.
“His position is defined under section 318 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) as being a public servant whose process of resignation is provided for under the public service Rules 030422 and 030423 (2008 Edition) and other extant laws.
“This is to the effect that the public service rules makes resignation of appointment of every officer of the public service of the federation a necessary condition before seeking participation in politics i.e., partisan activities, seeking elective public office, engaged in canvassing support for political candidates.
“We are however concerned about the way and manner this aspirant has decided to leave his issue of resignation to the realm of wild speculation by blatantly refusing to disclose the status of his resignation of appointment which has completely denied or deprived us the possibility of extracting any commitment from him on this subject matter.
“We further buttress our position on this matter with the circular emanating from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation No. HCSF/479/II/19 dated 5th May,2022 in which all civil servants are strongly advised to be guided by the provision of the Public Service Rules as quoted above for resignation to participate in partisan activities and seek elective public offices.
“Therefore, as concerned and loyal members of the party, considering the fact that the primary election are fast approaching coupled with the fact that the screening exercise is around the corner, we are left with no other option than to request you to kindly interrogate the entire process of resignation of his appointment in order to provide more assurances to our teaming APC supporters on his status as an aspirant of the party.
“We further buttress our position on this matter with the circular emanating from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation No. HCSF/479/II/19 dated 5th May,2022 in which all civil servants are strongly advised to be guided by the provision of the Public Service Rules as quoted above for resignation to participate in partisan activities and seek elective public offices.”