Aggrieved members of the Action Alliance have revealed why they sued the party and its National Chairman, Dr Adekunle Omo-Aje, at a Federal High Court, Abuja.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the plaintiffs disclosed this on Monday through the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of AA, Ugochukeu Ogbuji, saying that they opposed the recently conducted national convention of the party.
Ogbuji explained that the national convention ought not to have been conducted since the current tenure of the national executive committee members was yet to expire.
“They went to Olusegun Obasanjo’s Library in Ogun State on October 7th, 2023 and do what they called selective election without the consent of the National Working Committee (NWC) and NEC of the party.
“There was no meeting that was held that the NWC took a decision that we should have a national convention,” he said.
He claimed that some of those who attended the convention were not members of AA.
Ogbuji declared that the convention was null and void.
Asked if the aggrieved members explored internal mechanism of the party to resolve the matter before approaching court, he noted that they did not because Omo-Aje would not listen to advice.
He said their prayer was that the court should declare that their tenure had not ended and set aside the convention.
Ogbuji asserted that before a person is qualified to be national chairman of AA, he or she must possess a minimum of SSCE certificate.
“We are now approaching the court that if such a person has the basic requirement, he should present it to the court.
“That is what makes him to be the national chairman,” he said.
When asked if the plaintiffs assumed Omo-Aje did not have SSCE qualification, Ogbuji replied, “We are not saying that. 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.”
On why the question of SSCE certificate was coming at this time since Omo-Aje had been presiding as AA chairman, he said, “The answer is that my brother, you cannot continue this way; that is how it supposed to be.
“Because what we are trying to do is to try to defend the constitution of the party which is the primary thing.
“We are trying to put things in order on how it should be because the constitution of the party is supreme.”
Ogbuji added, “We are not witch hunting anybody but what we are trying to do is that the constitution of the party should be followed and obeyed and all the executives of the party should be allowed to carry out their functions without bias.”
He listed some of the members who filed the case to include Esther Esevohare, national women leader; Deborah Banjo, national treasurer; Pastor Samuel Oboro, financial secretary; Dr Mike Madu, national youth leader; Chief Chinedu Ukadike, an ex-officio of south east; Sunday John-Bull, the ex-officio of south south, and Alhaji Isa Haladu.
NAN reported that in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1447/2023, the eight plaintiffs sued AA, Omo-Aje, Amb. Suleiman Abdulrasheed, Miller Orgwu, Prince Ademola Adekanbi, Prince Awolola Awofala, Alhaji Sanni Darma, Solomon Okhanigbuan, Hon Joshua Adewole as 1st to 9th defendants respectively.
Others include Alhaji Wasiu Adeyemo, Mrs Joke Adebayo, Jummai Umar, Ahmadu Gambo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 10th to 14th defendants respectively.
While reacting to the development, the AA National Chairman, Omo-Aje, disagreed with Ogbuji, arguing that the party held its elective national convention on Oct. 7 in compliance with the party’s constitutions and guidelines for the election.
Omo-Aje, who said that INEC officers monitored the convention, noted that the list of the new set of the national officers were forwarded to the commission.
He said all the due notices were given to appropriate authorities and members.
He pointed out the convention was initially scheduled for Aug. 17 and INEC was duly notified but many members did not buy the forms to represent federal character spread and the convention had to be postponed.
He cited that on Aug. 27, a NEC meeting of the party was held and all the plaintiffs, except John-Bull and Haladu, were present and they made contributions and were part of the decisions taken.
Omo-Aje, maintained that there was no selective convention contrary to insinuations, adding new executives were elected and nobody was excluded from participating.
He disclosed that the new executive would not perform the function of their office “until the tenure of the present executive expires and there is proper handing-over and swearing-in.”
Omo-Aje debunked the rumour about his non-possession of SSCE certificate, noting such allegation was laughable.
He said he completed his secondary school education at Olumayin High School, Mayin, in Surulere Local Government Area of Oyo State with student exam number: 4313304/147 and that any interested person could go to the school to verify.