Monday, April 29, 2013

APGA: Warring Factions Battle INEC over Fake Officials

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo, This Day
April 30, 2013

Parties in the on-going leadership crisis bedevilling the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), have taken the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to task over a disputed list of authentic state party chairmen .
The leader of the  faction of the party loyal to Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, Mr. Maxi Okwu, has asked the commission not  to consider the protest by the embattled Chairman  of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, over the conduct of the national convention.
Umeh had written a protest letter to INEC complaining of fraud in the organization of the disputed April 8 party congresses and subsequently the national convention held in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
He accused Okwu of trying to mislead INEC by submitting documents inform of notices for the congress and the national convention which were signed by fake state party chairmen.
However, in responding to Umeh's accusation, Okwu in a letter dated April 29 and addressed to the Chairman of INEC urged the commission to discontenance the list of party state chairmen submitted to it by the Umeh leadership in December 2010, describing it as illegal.
Okwu drew the attention of the INEC boss to  two letters it had earleir written dated March 5 and 28, 2013, wbere the faction formally applied for the certified true copies (CTC) of certain party documents in the custody of the commission.
The documents include,  “Notice of National Emergency Meeting pursuant to Article 22(2c) of the Constitution of our party,  notice of Convention dated 11th March 2013, titled notice of National Convention pursuant to Section 85 of the Electoral Act (as amended), and notice of National Convention Pursuant to Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
In the letter Okwu said  it is illegal for the  Commission to derive the authentic list of state chairmen from minutes of an APGA National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on December 1, 2010.
He said the  section 222(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), provided that  every political party in Nigeria should file with the commission ‘the names and addresses of its national officers.’
He said by virtue of Article 10(2)XXXV of APGA constitution, state chairmen are ex-officio members of the NEC of our party.
Okwu also argued that the NEC meeting held at the NICON Luxury Hotel in December 2010  from which the list is prepared is a document was  a serious breach of the constitution of the party.
"The tenure of those who purported to meet on that day was to expire the very next day December 2, 2010. Please see page 39 of the judgment of the Enugu High Court item G where the Court answered one of the questions in issue before the Court.
"The motion therefore by Barr Bako styled Asst National Legal Adviser for the extension of the tenure of the National Working Committee is palpably illegal vide Article 18(2) of the APGA constitution."
"Again, assuming without conceding that the motion could stand, did it at the same time extend the tenure of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of which the NWC is merely one of the four named standing committees vide Article 15(1)2 of the party constitution?
"Assuming again without conceding that the names extracted by your Commission are authentic state chairmen their tenure expired on 2nd December 2010 and has since not been extended at any congress monitored by the Commission, "he said.
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