Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday affirmed the suspension of the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election, Omoyele Sowore and another member of the party, Malcom Fagbiyi from the AAC.
Justice Ekwo in a judgement delivered yesterday, also ordered Sowore and Fagbiyi to stop parading themselves as the Acting National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC) respectively.
Delivering judgment in the suit filed by Dr. Leonard Nzenwa to seek the force of law on the suspension handed Sowore and Fabiyi, the judge granted the prayers of the applicant as prayed because they were not challenged by the defendants.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the AAC had in March suspended Sowore and Fabiyi for a period of six months over allegations of corruption and misappropriation.
The party had in his stead appointed Dr. Nzenwa as the Acting National Chairman.
Comrade Oladele Ade, Acting Director Communication, in a statement said Dr. Nzenwa was until then the National Secretary of the party.
The party recalled that at its second NEC meeting in Abuja, Sowore and nine other NEC members were accused of corruption and anti-party activities, hence their suspension.
To give effect to the suspension of Sowore and others, Dr. Nzenwa, through ex parte motion, asked Justice Ekwo to restrain the suspended Sowore from parading himself as the national chairman of the party.
In upholding the suspension, Justice Ekwo held that the failure by Sowore and Fabiyi to personally deposed to an affidavit and enter defence in a case brought against them by the acting National Chairman Dr. Leonard Nzenwa was fatal to their claims.
Justice Ekwo agreed with the plaintiff that “by the community reading of the provisions of Article 50, 51,52 (k) and (n), 54,77,80 and 81 of the Constitution of the African Action Congress (AAC),2018 the suspension of the first (Sowore) and second Fagbiyi defendants as the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman (Headquarters), of the African Action Congress (AAC) for six months by the National Executive Committee of the African Action Congress(AAC) is not valid , in total and / or substantial compliance with the Constitution of the party.”
He also agreed that the appointment of Dr. Nzenwa as the Acting National Chairman of AAC was in line with the provisions of Article 52(k) and (n), 76, 77, and 81 of the Constitution of the African Action Congress (AAC), 2018 , following the suspension of the first and second defendants.
The court in the judgment also granted a perpetual injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) and agents from recognising Sowore and Fagbiyi as the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman of AAC.