The Action Alliance (AA) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to call its erring and compromised staff to order who the party also alleged had hidden interest in the Action Alliance with the intention to destroy it.
National Chairman of the Action Alliance, Chief Kenneth Udeze said this to representatives of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu when he led party faithfuls on a peaceful protest to the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
The Action Alliance’s protests again decried among other grievances, what the party described as the electoral Umpire’s executive lawlessness and rascality and meddling into the party’s internal affairs.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the Action Alliance decried the omission of John Okechukwu Ikeotuonye, the AA’s candidate for the November 6, Anambra governorship polls by the INEC.
TheFact Nigeria also reports that the Action Alliance implored the INEC to immediately resolve the anomaly by accepting the party’s candidates, (Governorship and Deputy Governorship alike) as the authentic flag bearers for the Anambra State Governorship election and avoid acts that could cost the Commission wastage of tax payers money.
The party said that John Ikeotuonye was legitimately elected to bear the Action Alliance’s ticket and any other individual imposed by INEC on the party shall be politically and legally resisted.
Prior to the protests, Action Alliance had written to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) and the Director General of the Department of State Services, (DSS) on September 1, 2021, informing both authorities of the planned protest.
In seperate letters jointly signed by the National Chairman, Chief Barr. Kenneth Udeze and National Secretary, Mr. Vernimbe James respectively, the Action Alliance requested the top security Chiefs to provide adequate security coverage for the peaceful protests.
The Action Alliance party members were seen carrying a 5 by 10 feet banner with the inscription: Peaceful Demonstration Against INEC Executive Lawlessness, Rascality And Meddling Into Internal Affairs Of Action Alliance (AA).
Other party members carried placards with the inscriptions: INEC Stop Your Rascality Now! INEC Some Of Your Staff Impunity Can No Longer Be Tolerated! John Okechukwu Ikeotuonye Remain AA Candidate In Anambra! INEC Must Remain A Neutral Umpire, among others.
While addressing representatives of the INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Action Alliance National Chairman, Chief Udeze called on the National Assembly Committee on INEC to intensify its oversight functions on the nation’s electoral body.
The Action Alliance National Chairman, Chief Kenneth Udeze said:”Recall, on your appointment as INEC Chairman in 2016, you were served with Judiciary Form 48 and 49 been consequences of disobedience to court order and to show cause why order of committal should not be entered against you in SUIT No: FHC/ABJ/CS/206/14 between Barr Kenneth Udeze & 5 ors vs Taiwo Ibiyemi Otegbeye & 3 ors meant for your predecessor, Prof. Atahiru Jega.
“Having complied by the order of court , having been advised by the then Director Legal services, Bawa (SAN) to avoid committal to prison, the commission obeyed the order of Hon. Justice Adeniyi F.A. Ademola, which nullified the illegal suspension and expulsion of Barr Kenneth Udeze from the Party as the then National Secretary of Action Alliance AA, in 2016.
“Moving on, the Party conducted its National elective convention on April 8th, 2017 where Chief Barr Kenneth UDEZE led National Executive committee (NEC) of Action Alliance AA, was duly elected under your supervision for a four years term renewable.
“Fast forward 2019, INEC having been dealing with Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze as AA National Chairman, Udeze was elected the National Legal Adviser of the Inter Party Advisory council (IPAC) within your first tenure as INEC Chairman.
“During the first tenure of Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze led National Executive committee of AA and in the second year of its first tenure, the Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze leadership fielded all the candidates of the Party across Nigeria in 2019, where we had a good outing having won ten legislative seats both in the state and federal level.
“Recall, that while Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze led National Executive was busy performing its functions, there was an ongoing suit against the person of National Chairman, challenging his emergence as AA National Chairman and praying the Federal High Court Osogbo Division to order Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze from parading himself as the National Chairman of AA, where your commission was also a co-defendant in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/23/2018 between Adekunle Rufai Omoaje & 1 or vs Barr Kenneth Udeze & 3 ors. The said suit was struck out for want of diligent prosecution.
“In another related suit, in an FCT high high court Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2705/2019 presided over by Hon. Justice O.C. Agabaza, dismissed a suit for an order of Court to stop the National Chairman, Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze from parading himself as AA National Chairman.
“While these valid court judgements and findings subsists and never been challenged on appeal including the latest judgement of Justice Binta Mohammed in SUIT NO: FCT/HC/CV/2080/2020 between Chief Kenneth Udeze Vs. INEC & 2 ors delivered on 12th day of February, 2021, your Commission out of over zealousness and lawlessness refused to give effects to the orders and findings of courts of competent jurisdiction because it is compromised through some of your staff, who must be made to declare truly their interest in Action Alliance and the reason to destroy our party.
“You will agree with us that Action Alliance AA has supported your tenure as INEC Chairman, as our Party through the National Chairman – Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze, publicly and copiously supported your administration as INEC Chairman, pre and post 2019 General election. We are left with no option than to assist you do your job as it has become obvious that there are some external forces that are blackmailing INEC from doing the needful.
“Sir, an important component in a political system is leadership, and when an Institution such as INEC, which is expected to deliver credible and uncompromising stance to all political parties, is it right that your goodwill shall be undermined by your line Staff, who for a porridge of yam, could destroy yet irreparably, an already dwindling status of a supposed unbiased umpire?
“While it is worthy that the National Assembly Committee on INEC should rise up to their legitimate responsibility of oversight in the activities of INEC, especially as it concerns some compromised staff of this Commission with a view to unknot the avoidable causes of pre-election cases by recalcitrant political parties that work in connivance with INEC Staff. This is necessary, to support most of the credible staff of the commission, who understand the dynamics of working within the armbits of the law, to manage and spend the financial appropriation made in its favour, for the overall benefits of the masses and tax payers.
“We advise, though humbly too, that you investigate and remedy these anomalies, and if you so wish; permit us as a Party, we can help to unravel part of the mystery behind this impunity and other inimical activities going on in your Office. A situation where the commission will be comfortable to ignore relevant court judgement is not encouraging, and also, some other uncomplimentary activities which is tarnishing your image must be investigated and dealt with urgently.
“A situation where INEC is collaborating with enemies of our party to create an imaginary division or infraction in order to satisfy the interest of some pay masters is not worthy to be tolerated by Action Alliance AA, let alone the INEC as an institution. We don’t want to be coerced to start naming for public notice those involved, but it may be considered if the commission don’t act fast on this matter of urgent importance.
“We have it in good authority that majority of Nigerian electorates are aware that this is the only time to fully participate to remedy all forms of injustice by your Staff and salient acts of subversion bedeviling our electoral process, which might also discredit or mar the activities of the 2023 General Election. Not really the election itself. If INEC does not purge itself from compromised staff, then this present leadership of INEC must be watched by critical stakeholders.
“How can you explain the situation where INEC who is supposed to be an unbiased umpire, is seen dealing and hobnobbing with opponents of the Party’s National Executive committee openly in Court and outside the court. This is travesty of justice, please make things right Sir. We have the video clips and their audio is audible for everyone to hear.
“It appears that this same INEC staff, has accepted to be used by external forces (politicians from other parties, especially in APC) to hijack the party by facilitating every form of illegality and sabotage against the leadership of Chief Barr Kenneth Udeze led National Executive and we have come to officially inform you that we cannot allow such intimidation to stand or thrive, not under our leadership.
“We implore you, to quickly intervene on this urgent matter, and resolve this anomaly by accepting our Candidates (Governorship and Deputy Governorship alike) as the authentic flag bearers for the Anambra State Governorship election. Avoid acts that can cost the commission wastage of tax payers money.
“Let it *be strongly noted that the only rec* *ognized* *legitimate *candidate* *Of* **Action* *Alliance* *in* *the* *upcoming* *Anambra* *governorship* *election is John Okechukwu Ikeotuonye* , who was legitimately elected to bear our ticket, any other individual imposed by the commission on the party shall be politically and legally resisted.
“The summary and underlying reason for our gathering here today, remains, for your commission to give effects to the findings and orders of courts of competent jurisdiction, and collaborate with my legally elected Exco., and throw away other distractions.”