The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will only recognise Omoyele Sowore, as the substantive national chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).
In a letter dated May 14, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the commission’s secretary, said Sowore’s controversial suspension by the party cannot hold.
She said there is no evidence of the meeting in which Sowore was suspended, as some of the party leaders had claimed.
Mazi Okwy, a member of the AAC national executive committee (NEC), had announced the suspension of Sowore, adding that one Leonard Nzenwa had been appointed acting chairman.
Okwe based the action on “failure to convene national executive council (NEC) meeting, financial misappropriation and other anti-party activities”.
Sowore dismissed the suspension and subsequently expelled Nzenwa while he suspended top members of the party.
The INEC secretary said the commission will continue to relate with Sowore as the national chairman of the party.
The letter read: “There is no documentary evidence that a meeting of the AAC National Executive Committee was convened by the National Chairman as required by chapter 9 section 59(a) of the AAC constitution.
“The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by section 85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010.
“There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC National Executive Committee meeting where the National Chairman and eight others were purportedly suspended.
“Accordingly, the Commission shall continue to recognise and relate with Mr. Sowore Omoyele as the substantive National Chairman of the AAC.”
SOLIDARITY FROM PARTY MEMBERS
In a related development, The African Action Congress (AAC), U.S. Chapter, on Friday passed a vote of confidence in its National Chairman and Presidential Candidate in the 2019 general elections, Omoyele Sowore.
Mr Oladotun Ogunleye, AAC Chairman in the U.S., expressed confidence in Sowore’s leadership in a telephone interview with journalists from his U.S. base.
Ogunleye said that the American Directorate of AAC condemned the purported suspension of Sowore as the party’s national chairman. “The leadership and entire members of AAC, U.S.A. condemn in no uncertain terms the purported suspension of our party’s national chairman by some disgruntled elements led by expelled former national secretary, Dr Leonard Nzenwa.
“Nzenwa should henceforth desist from parading himself as the acting chairman of our great party. “We can only have one chairman; that person is the convener of our movement and founder of our party, Comrade Sowore.
“All attempts by Nwanze and his co-sponsors to distract the good people of Nigeria, who are subscribing to the ideas of our great party on a daily basis, are bound to fail,” he said.
Ogunleye said the chapter expressed its confidence in the leadership of Sowore as the authentic national chairman and his determination in bringing about a new Nigeria built on justice and fairness.
Also, Lanre Balogun, Secretary-General, AAC, U.S.A., said that the chapter’s confidence in Sowore was hinged upon his providing conscientious and positive leadership direction for the party.
“We reaffirm our unwavering support for the leadership of Sowore because of his people-oriented programmes and leadership style, that have a direct impact on members. “He has zero tolerance for corruption, and his interest in the progress and development of Nigeria is foremost in his heart,” he said.
Journalists gathered that crisis rocked the AAC on May 13 when the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party announced the suspension of Sowore as the National Chairman of the party.
Sowore, according to the NEC, is being suspended for alleged anti-party activities, failure to convene NEC meeting and financial misappropriation. Leonard Nzenwa, former national secretary, AAC, was immediately sworn in as the new acting national chairman.
In a swift reaction, Sowore, in a statement, announced the suspension of Ezenwa, the former party secretary, for anti-party activities. He said that Nzenwa was suspended for financial impropriety, anti-party activities, and working against the core beliefs of AAC.
Source: The Punch, The Cable