Court affirms Sowore, Fabiyi’s suspension, INEC disagrees

By Nimi Princewill.

The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who doubles as the party’s national chairman until his recent suspension, has been cautioned by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to refrain from parading himself as the national chairman of the party.

Delivering judgement yesterday on the case filed by the newly sworn in acting chairman of the party, Mr Leonard Nzenwa, Justice Iyang Ekwo also ordered the AAC deputy national chairman, Mr Malcolm Fabiyi, to stop parading himself as deputy national chairman.

Pending the determination of the motion on notice, the court warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing the suspended chairman, as both he and his erstwhile deputy have been barred from exercising any power or function relating to the offices.

Omoyele Sowore is accused of failing to fulfill the mandatory requirement of holding the quarterly national executive committee meeting of the party.

He is also alleged to have received money from a foreign donor which he reportedly converted to private use, contravening the provisions of the constitution.

The AAC hinted that several attempts to appeal to Sowore to organise a NEC meeting where he could promptly respond to allegations levied against him proved abortive as he failed to oblige them. Hence, the party leadership chose to suspend him and his deputy for six months.

In a strange twist of events however,
INEC has reiterated its stance on recognizing Omoyele Sowore as the substantive National Chairman of the African Action Congress.

In a letter by its Secretary, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the electoral body said, “The commission, after reviewing the content of the letter, has established the following: There is no documentary evidence that a meeting of the AAC NEC was convened by the National Chairman as required by Chapter 9 Section 59(a) of the constitution of the AAC.

“The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC NEC 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.”

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