The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African Action Congress (AAC), has suspended its national chairman and presidential candidate in the March 23 election, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
Nine members of the AAC were similarly suspended for six months for alleged financial infraction and other anti-party activities.
The party has appointed Mr. Leonard Nzenwa as Acting National Chairman pending the election of a substantive National Chairman.
In a swift reaction, however, Sowore announced the expulsion of Nzenwa from the party.
Others suspended for a period of six months beginning from March 27 are the Deputy National Chairman (headquarters), National Youth Leader, Buhari Olanrewaju; Ex-Official, Abimiku Anthony Kukumah; National Deputy Coordinator, Sydney Usman; and Deputy National Treasurer, Elanu Rex Inalegu.
Others are National Treasurer, Ajiegbe Samuel Oluwafemi; Deputy National Chairman (South West), Ogunlana Rotimi Jacob; Deputy Organizing Secretary, Murtala Adamu; and Deputy National Youth Leader, Abdullahi Isa Mohammed.
According to the party’s NEC, Sowore and others were suspended for alleged financial misappropriation, allowing inflow of foreign funds into the party and personally retaining same in contravention of Section 225 (3)(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The suspended party chieftains were also sanctioned for allegedly failing to convene or hold the mandatory quarterly meeting of the NEC.
A member of the party’s NEC, Mr Okwi Ibeh, who announced the suspension of the officials in Abuja on Monday, also alleged usurpation of functions of all organs of the party by the suspended officials.
Ibeh said that the decision of the NEC was taken after a thorough appraisal of the state of the party under Sowore’s leadership.
According to him, the NEC has resolved to refer the allegations against the suspended officials to the party’s National Convention, in line with the its constitution.
Reacting to the suspension order, Sowore, in a statement he signed and circulated on Monday, said, “It has come to the notice of the office of the Chairman of the African Action Congress that a group of suspended members, induced by financial reasons and anti-progressive politics, gathered in Abuja today, 13th May, 2019, and purportedly held a NEC meeting.
“These members, led by Leonard Nzenwa, former national secretary, who was suspended for financial impropriety and anti-party activities, have demonstrated by their actions that they have never been, and have never shared, the core beliefs that those of us in the African Action Congress hold.
“Leonard Nzenwa is hereby expelled from the party, and the misguided individuals who participated in the Abuja meeting are suspended from the party until investigations reveal the extent of their involvement”.