Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the suspension of the National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC), Mr. Omoyele Sowore, saying it would continue to recognise and relate with him as the substantive chairman.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party had on Monday after its meeting suspended the publisher of Sahara Reporters, accusing him of involvement in anti-party activities, financial misappropriation as well as failure to convene NEC meeting.
The party’s NEC said that the suspension took effect from March 27 and would last for six months except overturned by a National Convention of the party, while the NEC also appointed and swore-in Leonard Nzenwa as the new acting National Chairman.
However, in a fierce battle for the soul of the party, Sowore also announced the suspension of Leonard Ezenwa, the former party secretary for anti-party activities in a statement he signed last Monday.
According to him, “It has come to the notice of the office of the Chairman of the African Action Congress that a group of suspended members, induced by financial reasons and anti-progressive politics, gathered in Abuja today, 13th May, 2019, and purportedly held a NEC meeting.
“These members, led by Leonard Nzenwa, former national secretary, who was suspended for financial impropriety and anti-party activities, have demonstrated by their actions that they have never been, and have never shared, the core beliefs that those of us in the African Action Congress hold.”
But reprieve came the way of Sowore when the electoral body in a letter ted May 14th, 2019, signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, said that his suspension was unlawful.
The commission 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 National Executive Committee (NEC) was convened by the National Chairman as required by Chapter 9 Section 59(a) of the Constitution of AAC.
“The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by Section85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC National Executive Committee meeting where the National Chairman and eight (8) others were purportedly suspended.
“Accordingly, the Commission shall continue to recognise and relate with Mr. Sowore Omoyele as the substantive national Chairman of the African Action Congress.”