Leadership tussle: Court dismisses suit challenging AA National Convention

…Judgment puts an end to leadership crisis — Party Chairman

By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

The controversies surrounding the leadership of the Action Alliance(AA)  Party Seems to have been brought to rest as a Federal high court sitting in Abuja dismissed the suit filed by some members of the Party challenging the Party’s National Convention held in Abeokuta which produced Adekunle Omo-Aje as the National Chairman of the Party.

Delivering his judgement, Justice James Omotosho, held that the officers produced by the National Convention are recognized officials of the Party.

According to him, the election was conducted in line with the Party’s constitution, saying the National Convention held at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, was supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC.)

Reacting to the judgement, the National Chairman of the Party, Hon. Adekunle Omo-Aje described it as an end to the controversies surrounding the leadership of the Party.

“This case that we won today was not initiated by Kenneth Udeze, it was Ukadike Chinedu and Amb. Abdulrasheed, the former National Secretary of the Party, and Esther Esevohare, the Former Women Leader. They are the ones who took me and my National Executives to this Court, about our National Convention.

“Today’s ruling according to him is a victory for the rule of law and our democracy. I commend the judiciary for its uprightness. I agree with the position of the Hon. Justice Omotosho that there should be an end to litigation.

“Indeed, the Nigerian system of justice is improving before our very eyes or generation. By the grace of God, Action Alliance will never fall into the hands of dishonest and untrustworthy leaders.

“I further commend the neutrality of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Maitama during the pendency of this suit. Together, we can deepen democracy in Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that Some members of the Action Alliance (AA) have sued Adekunle Omo-Aje, the party’s national chairman, over the conduct of the national convention.

The aggrieved members led by Ugochukwu Ogbuji, deputy national publicity secretary of the party, filed the suit before the federal high court in Abuja.

Ogbuji said the national convention ought not to have been conducted since the current tenure of the National Executive Committee (NEC) members was yet to expire.

“They went to Olusegun Obasanjo’s Library in Ogun State on October 7, 2023, and did what they called selective election without the consent of the National Working Committee (NWC) and NEC of the party,” he said.

“There was no meeting that was held that the NWC took a decision that we should have a national convention.”

Ogbuji alleged that some of those who attended the convention were not members of AA.

According to him, the plaintiffs did not bother to explore the internal mechanisms of the party to settle the dispute because Omo-Aje would not listen to advice.

The plaintiffs are praying for the court to set aside the convention which was held on October 7.

They also want the court to compel Omo-Aje to produce his senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) certificate which is the minimum qualification required to be the national chairman of AA.

“We are now approaching the court that if such a person has the basic requirement, he should present it to the court,” he said.

“That is what makes him the national chairman. We are saying that the court should ask him to produce it.

“Let us know if he has it or not. For now, we have not seen it. Let him present it to the court.”

Other plaintiffs in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1447/2023, include Amb. Suleiman Abdulrasheed the former National secretary  Esther Esevohare, the former national women leader; Deborah Banjo, former national treasurer; Samuel Oboro, former financial secretary; Mike Madu, former national youth leader; Chinedu Ukadike, an ex-officio of Southeast; Sunday John-Bull, the ex-officio of south-south, and Isa Haladu.

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