By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election, Omoyele Sowore, Tuesday, asked Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as the National Chairman of the AAC.
Sowore also asked the court to restrain the executive of the AAC from holding a national convention in the name of AAC pending the hearing and determination of his suit against his suspension by the party.
Sowore also filed a motion on notice, urging the court to grant an interlocutory injunction, restraining Dr Leonard Nzenwa from functioning as Acting National Chairman of the AAC.
The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had on March 13 removed Sowore as National Chairman of the AAC for alleged corruption.
The party had in his stead appointed Dr. Nzenwa as Acting National Chairman, who was until then the National Secretary of the party.
The AAC had at its second NEC meeting in Abuja, suspended Sowore and nine other NEC members over alleged corruption and anti party activities.
Accordingly, Nzenwa, through an exparte motion had asked the court to restrain the suspended Sowore from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.
In his ruling, Justice Ekwo granting the prayers of the applicant and in addition restrained Malcolm Fabiyi, from further parading himself as Deputy National Chairman of the AAC.
The court also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from further recognizing the suspended Chairman, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
In the order, the court restrained Sowore and Fabiyi from further exercising any power or function relating to the offices pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
In the affidavit in support of the motion on notice, the party alleged that Sowore failed to fulfill the mandatory statutory requirement of holding the NEC meeting of the party quarterly.
He was also accused of receiving money from foreign donors and converting same for his personal use in contravention of the provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The party said despite appeals made to him to call for a NEC meeting of the party to respond to allegations against him, he failed to do so.
The party further said that it reached a resolution on March 27, 2019 suspending them from the party for six months.
Meanwhile, when the matter came up Tuesday, legal adviser to the party, Inibehe Effiong told the court that the processes and counter affidavit in response to the plaintiff’s suit were in the process of filing.
Effiong pleaded with the court to order the plaintiff not to go ahead with planned convention of the party. But the court insisted there was no application before it to make such an order.
However, counsel to the plaintiff, Emeka Ozoani, made an undertaking on behalf of his client, not to call for national convention until the case is determined.
The court subsequently adjourned to June 24 to take all the pending applications and the substantive suit.