By Osahon Osahon
A faction of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over a letter allegedly written by its national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole effecting change in party’s state secretariat.
The faction led by Mr. Anslem Ojezua, who was elected through the congress of the party in 2018, alleged that Oshiomhole had reportedly written to the electoral umpire informing its in the relocation of the state secretariat from its current address to a new one.
Ojezua, in a letter addressed to the INEC chairman, a copy of it obtained by our correspondent in Benin, urged INEC to disregard the letter written by the national chairman as Oshiomhole lacks such power to give such directive when there is subsisting State Executive Committee.
It was gathered that the faction of the party loyal to Adams Oshiomhole, has reportedly opened a parallel secretariat off Airport Road in Benin, where it has been operating.
But, Ojezua in a letter titled: “Re: Notification of change of address, violation of relevant provisions of the Constitution of the party and an attempt to circumvent subsisting court order,” addressed to the chairman of the Commission, insisted that the party’s secretariat remains at No. 59, Airport Road.”
The letter, copies of which are made available to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo CP, the state Director of DSS, the state Commandant of NCDC and INEC state resident electoral commissioner, reads thus:
“I have become aware of a letter dated 29th May, 2020, written by the national chairman of our party by which he notified you that the party has purportedly changed its address in Edo state to an allegedly new secretariat building.
“Permit me to remind you of the repeated admonition by the superior court of records in this country that political parties must imbibe the culture of obeying or acting in conformity with the provisions of their constitution. The provisions of article 8 of All Progressives Congress constitution states as follows:
“‘The registered office of the party shall be located in Abuja, the federal capital territory of Nigeria, while other offices in the state capitals, local government area headquarters and other place shall be determined by the appropriate executive committee and approved by the national executive committee.’
“Surely, the state executive committee is the appropriate executive committee contemplated by the said provision and not the person or office of the national chairman of the party. Thus, by the clear provision of our party constitution, the national chairman of our party not being a sole administrator thereof, has absolutely no role to play on the issue of the location of the state secretariat in Edo state.
“The action of the national chairman is a ploy to avoid compliance with the consequential effects of the order of the Benin City High Court in suit No. B/177/OS/19: Anslem Ojezua & others v. Col. Imuse & others which granted an injuctive order preserving my status as the state chairman of Edo state chapter of our party.
“The High Court and the Court of Appeal Benin city have refused the application by the defendants in that case to set aside the said preservative order of injunction which is thus still subsisting in my favour.
“May I state that the members of Edo state executive committee of our party led by me as state chairman were duly elected at the last congress held by the party in 2018 and you ought to comply with same sir.
“This attempt to relocate our secretariat is certainly ultra vires the powers conferred by our constitution on the national chairman who is attempting to usurp our powers. Being manifestly unlawful, you have an obligation and the path of constitutionality dictates that you ought to comply with same sir. Please be guided sir.”