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Monday, February 26, 2024

Sowunmi sues PDP NWC for not calling NEC meeting

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Segun Sowunmi, PDP governorship aspirant in Ogun State during the 2023 general elections, has sued the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for failing to convene a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC).

The 97th NEC, the highest decision-making body of the party, was convened by the suspended national president, Iyorchia Ayu, on September 8, 2022.

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The case was filed on Monday before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants in the case (FHC/ABJ/CS/T024) include the PDP, acting national president; Iliya Damagum, national secretary; Samuel Anyanwu, Secretary of National Organization; Umar Bature, National Auditor; Okechukwu Daniel, National Treasurer; Ahmed Yayari and national youth leader; Muhammed Kadade.

The suit was directed at these individuals in their roles within the PDP and on behalf of the National Executive Committee/National Labor Committee.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Fundamental reason

Sowunmi, represented by a legal team of 13 lawyers led by Anderson Asemota, claimed in the legal document, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, that party officials have failed in their responsibility to members.

The politician claimed that the party leadership, under Damagum, has refused to hold mandatory quarterly meetings since the last elections.

The PDP leader emphasized that it has been more than a year and three months since the last CNE meeting was held, highlighting a lapse since the dismissal of the previous president, Iyoricha Ayu.

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The legal document underlined the importance of the CNE meeting as a platform for party officials to present quarterly reports on financial matters, including income and expenses.

It also highlights the absence of such reports after the February 2023 presidential and national assembly elections, as well as the March 2023 state gubernatorial elections.

Mr Sowunmi maintained that his attempts to incite the party leadership to convene an NEC meeting went unanswered, despite the impending elections in Ondo and Edo states, which required careful preparation and planning.

Beyond the electoral preparations, Sowunmi regretted the postponement of debates on critical issues pending a CNE meeting.

Showunmi, one of Atiku Abubakar’s spokespersons in the 2019 elections, highlighted the responsibility of the NEC to set a date for the party’s convention, the highest decision-making body.

He argued that refusing to hold the CNE meeting violated the party’s constitution.

The statement reads in part: “That all efforts made by the accused to convene or cause to be convened and held a meeting of the National Executive Committee have been unsuccessful, as the accused has regrettably refused or refused to respond to my viva voce pleas and repeated demand for the CNE meeting, as well as a letter written by my lawyers in this regard.”

Mr Sowunmi’s legal claim includes a court order compelling party officials to convene the National Executive Committee meeting and a restraining order preventing the party and INEC from making further delays.

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