Udora Orizu in Abuja
Two national officers of Action Alliance (AA), including the Chairman and Secretary, Kenneth Udeze, and Vernimbe James, Thursday urged the general public to disregard the pronouncement made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that they have been suspended from the party.
Udeze and Vernimbe, who stated this at a joint press briefing in Abuja, described the announcement as “false and misleading report which emanated from uninformed INEC members of staff.”
AA, the party founded by a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, 14 years ago, had been embroiled in various leadership tussle after its failure to secure victory in the last governorship poll in the same Imo State where it came second.
Briefing journalists, Udeze argued that the issue of suspension is still pending in Abuja court with suit number: FCT/HC/CV/2263/2019, insisting that INEC has no role to play in such case and as such he and the alleged suspended secretary remain the leaders of the party.
He said: “We call you to let the whole world know the state of Action Alliance National Leadership. You will recall that few days ago the media was awashed with the news that I, the National Chairman of Action Alliance, Chief (Barr.) Kenneth Udeze and the National Secretary of the party, Vernimbe A. James have been suspended from the party.
“That is not correct, that is false, misleading and should be disregarded by all Action Alliance members across Nigeria and beyond. What transpired was that some suspended national officers of the party with uninformed staff of the INEC made false pronouncement that the Action Alliance National Chairman and secretary were suspended from the party.
“The matter of suspension of the party’s National Chairman and National Secretary are subject of litigations at the FCT High Court sitting in Nyanya, Abuja and Federal High Court 1 Action Alliance V. Kenneth Udeze & 1 Other Suit No: Fct/Hc/Cv/2263/2019 and Hon. Adekunle Rufai Omoaje and One Other V. Barr Kenneth Udeze & Others Suit No. FHC/OS/CS/23/2018, in the latter case, the commission (INEC) is the 3rd defendant while I am the first defendant.
“The matters are sub-judice and that being the case, it amounted to affront in the face of the judiciary and executive rascality for someone from INEC informing us that we are on suspension which tends to pre-empt the court, the commission passing its judgment before the court delivers its own; that could be treated as contempt of court.
“It is not for the commission to play the roles of the party and the judge by unilaterally informing us of the suspension and passing its judgment without waiting for the outcome of the cases pending in court of law.”
Udeze, however, called on the commission not to act upon any correspondence from any person or group of persons or attach any probative value to same suggesting that the AA national chairman and the national secretary have been suspended.