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APGA NWC Members Fault Umeh's Recognition

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Image: Chief Victor Umeh

May.16, 2013


About 18 members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State-led All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Wednesday condemned the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise  the national leadership of the party headed by Chief Victor Umeh.

The group, which met in Abuja, to review the state of affairs in the party, said INEC's action was wrong as the Umeh-led leadership did not emerge through the constitutional process of the party.

At the meeting were seven former members of the Umeh-led National Executive, including the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bernard Akoma; Deputy National Chairman (North), Alhjai Sadeeq Masalla; Deputy National Youth Leader, Alhaji Ibrahim Carefor; Deputy National Treasurer, Alhaji Lawal Ashiru Barmo; National Vice-Chairman (North-east), Alhaji Abubakar Adamu; National Auditor, Alhaji Garba Barma and Dr. Sagir Maidoya.

While addressing journalists after their meeting, Akoma said  the leaders deliberated on critical party and national issues, including the declaration of state of emergency in three northern states.

Speaking on the leadership crisis in APGA, he said it was strange that INEC could write a letter confirming Umeh’s leadership of the party even when there was no record of the commission observing any congress of the party in 2010 which were statutory procedures for the emergence of the party’s national leadership.

"We view the current INEC statement as preemptive and prejudicial to the Federal High Court case at Awka in which INEC is a first defendant," he said.

He said what happened was an extra-legal agreement which produced them, adding that at no point in 2010 did the party conduct any ward, local government or state congress as stipulated in the party’s constitution, before that year’s national convention in Awka, Anambra State, where Umeh emerged as the chairman of the party.

According to him, out of the 29 former members of the NWC headed by Umeh, one person had died and another indisposed.

He alleged that the Secretary of INEC, Alhaji Abubakar Kaugama, could have been under some undisclosed influence when he signed the letter dated May 8, in which INEC recognised Umeh as APGA national chairman.

He also said it was strange that a commission which should be upholding the constitution and the letters of the electoral act as well as political party constitutions, should turn around to support elements who chose to violate such laws.

Akoma further reminded INEC of the pendency of Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/88/2013 filed by once Charles Nwazojie for himself and others and INEC and five others before the Federal High Court in Awka in which INEC is the first defendant, stressing that they were ready to lead evidence on how they emerged in the illegal NWC.

He maintained that if the party was in violation of its own constitution since 2010 to the knowledge of INEC and if the same party decided to correct the unconstitutional approaches it adopted in electing its leadership which INEC participated in, then, INEC remains statutorily barred to accord any other recognition outside what was the parameters of the constitution of APGA.

Akoma insisted that the judgment of the Enugu High Court in the law suit filed by Ichie Okuli Ejike, was declaratory and was emphatic that the entire NWC was operating illegally and which they had affirmed at their meetings and corrected through their convention of April 8, in Awka.

“The NWC wishes to state that the five declarations and
relief granted by the Enugu High Court, in the case of Ichie Okuli Jude Ejike and Chief Sir Victor Umeh, the Court of Appeal rightly determined that it could not stay declaratory reliefs and only granted the application to stay the aspect of the judgment on the relief restraining Chief Sir Victor Umeh from parading himself as national chairman of APGA.

“The NWC notes that since the final judgment of the Enugu
High Court of 8th February 2013 and before the Court of Appeal in the afternoon of 8th April 2013, ruled on the application sought by Umeh in which only him was heard, there was an execution of the Enugu High Court judgment by 8am on the morning of  April 8, 2013 through a popular National Convention of APGA monitored by INEC.

“The judgment of Enugu High court still stands and has not been overturned by any other court.

APGA group commended President Goodluck Jonathan's effort to tackle the very perilous security challenges facing the nation,  particularly the recent wasting and spilling of innocent blood in Borno and Nasarawa States.


Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

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