▪︎ Orders immediate Convention, Congresses
By Chuks Moses
The High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja presided over by Hon Justice O. A. Adeniyi has ordered the National Chairman of the Accord Party, Alh Mohammad Lawal Nalado and all members of the party’s National Working Committee to vacate their seats with immediate effect.
The court in ots verdict on Monday barred them
from further occupying any position in the party.
It sacked all the National Executive Members and the National Working Committee, who have completed two terms in office which expired on January 17,2022.
According to one of the top officials of the party, Chief Innocent Igboekwe who alongside two others members dragged the party chieftains to court, they were also prevented from recontesting for the same post/office or remain in the same office in acting capacity after the expiration of their term(s).
Igboekwe, Jamilu Abase, and Prince Joseph James had vide an Originating Summons brought against the party’s NWC and NEC which was filed by Chief Wake el Olawale Liady sought the court’s declaration to prevent the national officers from holding holding any office in their hierarchy of the party having been sworn in two times, as enunciated in the constitution of the Accord Party.
The plaintiffs also sought the Court declaration that the tenure of office of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado as the National Chairman, the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the party expired on the 17th of January 2022 having been elected and sworn in on the 18th day of January, 2018.
The Court in its verdict therefore declared amongst others, ‘… having regard to the clear and unambiguous provision of section 223 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Articles 19 and 23 of the Constitution of the Accord Party.
“By the reason of the expiration of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the ACCORD on the 17th day of January, 2022 there has been a vacuum in the administration and running of the 1st Defendant’s political party.
“By the reason of the expiration of Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the Accord Party on the 17th day of January, 2022, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants and/or any member of their committee cannot function, act and perform as subsisting members of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee of the 1st Defendant as from 18th day of January, 2022.
“The deliberate refusal, failure and negligence of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to call and hold National Convention and meetings of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee as required by the law is a gross violation of provisions of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution.
“The deliberate refusal, failure and negligence of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to call for the annual auditing of the finance of the Accord Party is an infraction of the provision of 28 (1) of the Constitution of Accord.
“By virtue of provision of section 223 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the 2nd Defendant should oblige that the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants to comply with the extant laws on tenure of office and finance of the Accord Party… ”
The Court, Igboekwe who spoke to journalists noted, after a painstaking and diligent process therefore restrained the Accord Party and the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) from allowing the Naldo, Michael Lerama, and Barrister Maxwell Ngbudem alongside other executive and the NEC members, who had contested and held party office for two terms from further contesting and holding office after their second term.
The Court also granted an order in favour of the Plaintiff restraining Accord Party and INEC from according or continuing to accord any recognition to the officers or any other member of the party, who has served during Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado’s led National Executive Members and National Working Committee because their tenure of office had expired on the 17th day of January, 2022.
Hon Justice Adeniyi equally directed the Party to hold its National Convention/State Congresses with a view to electing the National and State Executive Committees within ninety (90) days from the date judgment was delivered in the suit.