AThe Action Alliance (AA) threatened to stage a peaceful protest at the National Assembly on Saturday over the alleged exclusion of its candidates from the list of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 general elections.
AA National Chairman Dr. Adekunle Omo-Aje stated this at a press conference at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
Omo-Aje said the INEC’s alleged failure to upload the names of all the candidates put forward by its leadership despite several court orders against recognizing the list of candidates put forward by the ousted party’s national chairman, Mr. Kenneth Udeze, could jeopardize the next elections.
“We will go to the National Assembly in a protest and to present our protest letter and inform our legislators that if INEC President Professor Mahmood Yakubu is not called to order, there will be negative consequential effects on the election outcome. 2023.
“We will use all legal channels to ensure we get justice against any form of exclusion from running our candidates for election, and every election is voidable by law,” he said.
Omo-Aje claimed that “Yakubu is covertly orchestrating a clandestine plan against the 2023 election, and the Action Alliance will not stand by and watch our nascent democracy be torn apart and wounded.”
He said Udeze was the party’s national chairman until June 2019 before he was suspended and expelled.
Omo-Aje said he emerged as national president after a national elective convention held in February 2020 and overseen by INEC officials.
He said that instead of Udeze challenging his suspension and expulsion from the party internally and through the courts, he instituted several court cases urging the courts to declare him the national party chairman, but lost everything.
According to him, despite complying with all INEC electoral guidelines and requirements in accordance with the Nigerian constitution with the commission, the electoral arbitrator is “bent on excluding Action Alliance from the upcoming 2023 general election”.
“It has gotten to the point where we in the Action Alliance are going out into the open and making categorical statements loud and clear on the rooftop for all concerned citizens of this country to hear.
“This constitutes the crux of our press conference, to draw the attention of the relevant authorities and of the nation in particular to the judicial error at INEC, actively promoted by its president, Professor Mahmood Yakubu,” he said.
He also called on the Nigerian Bar Association to intervene in the concerted sanitization of the legal profession by fishing for rotten eggs among its members.
“There is a cabal of lawyers on our streets today who do not care about the ethics of the bar or give credit to professionalism.
“These lawyers snoop around for legal loopholes to exploit, regardless of whether they constitute an abuse of judicial process or not.
“Over the course of our ordeal, we have seen a lot of these unprofessional tactical practices where lawyers are hired by people to sue themselves as if they were actually being sued in real terms,” he said.
At a national congress held by AA in Abuja, Mr. Solomon-David Okanigbuan emerged as the party’s presidential candidate, among others.
But retired Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, a former aide to the late General Sani Abacha, also won the presidential primary election held by the Udeze-led faction on June 9 in Abuja.
The electoral referee recognized all the candidates put forward by the faction led by Udeze, despite court rulings declaring that Udeze was no longer a member of the party.
There is also an order directing INEC to accept and publish all candidates sent to it by the AA’s Omo-Aje address.