AAC leadership crisis worsens

Former Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) and Publisher of an online medium, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, and the incumbent national chairman of the Party, Leonard Nzenwa, took the battle for the control of the AAC to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), on Monday.

Nzenwa had emerged as national chairman of the party at its national convention held last August in Owerri, Imo State capital where its presidential candidate, Sowore was expelled.

Addressing newsmen at the INEC headquarter in Abuja, Dr Nzenwa, said his leadership got wind of an alleged plot by Sowore to occupy INEC headquarter and State offices to express his grievances over the loss of relevance in the AAC.

Nzenwa, however, told newsmen that the former presidential candidate ceased to be a member of the AAC having been expelled at the Owerri convention.

He said: “African Action Congress (AAC) as a legal, responsible and law-abiding political party in Nigeria do not have anything to do with Omoyele Sowore as he is unknown to the Party as he and 29 others were expelled on August 9, 2019, after he was suspended.

“We have intercepted various posters, flyers and other promotional items produced by this expelled member wherein he used our great party as a plank to embark on this mission of discrediting the party, blackmailing some prominent Nigerians, and to wreak havoc on and burn down INEC offices nationwide including a plot to attack other public infrastructure and cause mayhem across the nation.

“The African Action Congress need to restate clearly that the action of this Revolution Now kingpin action amounts to a threat to national security, acts of criminal impersonation, disturbance of public peace, incitement of disturbances, furnishing of false information, causing of public nuisance, making of false documents and criminal intimidation.

“The African Action Congress first suspended, later removed and went ahead to expel Omoyele Sowore over various proven allegations of financial recklessness and misappropriation of party funds, abuse of party constitution, high-handedness etc.

“His erratic behaviour almost amounting to lunacy and which is now hysterically driving him to act in a debased manner
unbecoming of a leader to the point where he now displays and carries out dangerously criminal actions, under the name of our party thereby committing various crimes has become a big concern to the party and to Nigerians.

“His suspension and expulsion from the party were validated by Courts of Competent Jurisdiction in the country and the highest decision making body of the party, the National Convention.”

In his reaction, Sowore who later surfaced at the INEC office dismissed the claim that he had expelled from the party.

He alleged that INEC connived with Nzenwa to get him removed as national chairman of the AAC, using the period of his detention in the custody of Departments of State Service to hatch their plot.

He said: “It is not true that I hijacked the party. I formed the party in 2018 and we are the only political party in Nigeria that has explained how we spent money during the last presidential election. No other party in Nigeria has been able to do that. Nobody can remove the owner of the house.

“I registered the party in 2018 and I received the certificate here but the government is using the Ezenwa’s group to hijack the party. By August 2019, they arrested me and when I was in detention, they went and did fraudulent convention and claimed that they had expelled me from the party that I created. We know the game because as they were doing that, INEC was funding them.

“The Ezenwa group works for the government. When we said that we were coming for the protest, they claimed that we were going to burn down the INEC office. We have been here for more than one hour and nobody is with a stick of match. The DSS and the police have arrested our people as they were arriving for the protest. It was then that I decided to come here personally to see them.

“We have submitted the letter to INEC and gave them seven days within which they should restore the party to the original owners and stop colluding with people that had been expelled from our party, we would occupy INEC all over the country.

“The court only gave a verdict that the two of us, myself and the Deputy National Chairman had been suspended because of a fraudulent NEC that they said they held at that time, two months after they arrested me. So that they can take away the party in my absence but they cannot take it away.

“The position of the court elapsed six months after it was proclaimed. So, what INEC did is to collude with them to go and arrange a kangaroo convention in Imo State where the original members of the party did not attend. The state chairmen of the party were not there too.”

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