The leading contestant at the just concluded re-run election of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Enugu State, Dr. James O. Akpeh, has asked the National Executive Council of the association to declare him as the rightful winner of the poll.
One Dr JOT Onyia was declared the winner of the Saturday’s re-run election by the Caretaker Committee, having pulled a total of 317 votes against his lone contender, Dr. Akpeh, who pulled a total of 258 votes.
But Akpeh in a petition to the NEC of NMA, dated November 29, 2020, captioned “Rejection of the NMA Enugu State, election results as announced based on gross irregularities and appeal to be declared a winner in the said election,” noted that the process violated the NMA constitution.
Akpeh in the petition which our correspondent sighted on Friday, addressed to the NEC through the Secretary General of NMA, stated that on the eve of the elections eligible list was displayed with 106 without name fixed for Parklane Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) who were not financially up to date.
He added that he raised objection to the list as it violated the extant laws and resolutions of NMA concerning the election, but despite assurances of the Caretaker Committee that his complaints would be looked into. When the final list was released on Friday evening to the election the number increased from the 106 to now 139, with two additional names that were added with pen on the election day bringing to a total of 141 as the eligible members of ARD ESUT-TH Parklane.
The petition partly read: “I quickly reached out and sent a petition to the chairman of CTC on the irregularities in the listed names as regards the supposedly eligible members from ARD ESUT-TH Parklane.
“My appeal is based on glaring infractions and gross irregularities in the conduct of the election that tended to favour my contender for the chairmanship position.
“I vied for the post with Dr. JOT Onyia who was declared winner as follows: Dr. JOT Onyia – 317 votes and Dr James O. Akpeh – 258 votes.
“The edge my contender has was possible because of the following. Enlisting of 141 financially ineligible voters on the voters list. It is necessary to state that not a single person in that 141 members list from ARD Parklane where my contender work that was introduced by the CTC was financially up to date in dues and levy as at the last national AGM. House officers who never made any form of payment before the last AGM were listed in the same list.”
It added, “The list was unilaterally picked by the supporters of my opponent on the directive of the CTC. These individuals were selectively pre-informed beforehand leaving out my teaming supporters. The CTC decision to share individual dues of some members for the benefit of partisan few as they claimed is not in keeping with our constitution as cited in article 11 section 15b which specified that “without prejudice to the provisions in Article 4 any member who is to vote or be voted for shall be financially up to date with state dues and levies on or before the national AGM preceding the state election”.
“That the unconstitutional sharing was not extended to Guild of Medical directors who paid all their dues in full but defaulted in time to submit payment of levies neither was it extended to MDCAN and ARD members of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu who equally made some payment like ARD members in Parklane implied a deliberate action to give an undue advantage.”
Akpeh, The Head of Department, Otolaryngology, University of Nigeria Nsukka and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, said the actions of the CTC discouraged members of the association who would have voted for me from coming out as they felt that there was no transparency in the process.
He maintained, “The activities of the CTC were in clear violation of the Emergency E-NEC of Nigerian medical Association of 13th November 2020, directing strict adherence to the constitution. These actions will further continue to enthrone illegality and unlawful activities by members in the state.
“It is based on the foregoing that I request that due process be followed by upturning the results of the election by subtracting the 141 votes casted from opponent’s vote count and declare me the authentic winner of the election 28th November 2020.
“But in the event that I can’t be declared a winner let the election be cancelled on the grounds of non adherence to the provision of the constitution in drawing the voters list and subsequent conduct of the election as only financially up to date members were supposed to exercise their right.”