Why Okelu Drags YDP, INEC Others To Court Over ‘Illegal’ Suspension


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The crisis rocking the Young Democratic Party (YDP) may not come to an end soon as the suspended South East Zonal Coordinator of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) Collins Okelu has dragged INEC, the party and her acting national chairman, Ambassador Rapheal Sebibo Horsfall to a Federal High Court in Abuja
Collins Okelu told our correspondent that the Party Board of Trustees (BoT) and the founding members council lack the power to suspend the Executive.

In the originating summons obtained by our correspondent, they cited Article 28.5 of Party’s Constitution which reads thus “The National Convention shall have and exercise authority to: (b) Elect or remove National Officers of the Party,” and therefore says his suspension is illegal.

When contacted, the National Leader/Chairman, Founding Member Council of the party, Hon. Henry Nwabueze cited Article 27.6 which states that the BoT has the power to suspend any National Executive Council (NEC) who openly causes division in the party or involved in serious party breach of national consequence in so far as its quorum is formed with at least 60% of its member from at least four geo-political zones assenting to such suspension.

According to the probision, such suspension which must be ratified by the founding member council shall not exceed 30 days within which the suspended member shall face the disciplinary committee of the party and if ratified by the committee, the suspended member shall be liable to any or combination of penalties as listed in the constitution of the party.

He further cited Article 29.2 (15) which reads thus: ‘The Founding Member Council being the highest organ of the party shall be the SOLE organ to ratify rules for Party discipline which shall be binding on all organs and members of the party’.

It could be recalled that Board of Trustees of YDP on the 6th of October, 2016 suspended some NEC members for embarking on acts whichnit said was capable of bringing division among the members of the party and several party activities.

The suspended NEC members include: Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok, National Chairman; Yerima Shetimma, Deputy National Chairman; Vidiyeno H. Bamayi, National Secretary; Ugo Nwofor, National Legal Adviser; Georgina Dakpokpo, Financial Secretary; Usman Haruna, National Treasurer; Bishop Amakiri, National Youth Leader; Collins Okelu, South East Zonal Coordinator; Tosan Blessing, South South Zonal Coordinator; Oluremi Ajibade, South West Zonal Coordinator; Rabiu Abdulsalam Pantami, North East Zonal Coordinator; Elizabeth Abba Victoria, North Central Zonal Coordinator and Mohammed Saboakinzuwo, North West Zonal Zonal Coordinator among others.

Article 31.5 of the party constitution says where there is vacancy arising from anything whatsoever of the substantive officer or deputy or vice as the case may be, then the Founding Council Member shall resolve the matter and fill the vacancy or vacancies. Equally,  Article 31.13 state thus “Where a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the party, the Executive Committee at the appoint another person from the area or zone where the officer originated from, pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy”.

Based on the above Article, the Founding Members Council appointed replacements for the various vacant positions created as a result of the suspension, so as to carry on with the activities of the party pending the party’s National Convention scheduled to take place in January 2017.

Some of the appointed party’s new acting National Executive Council are: Amb. Raphael Sebibo Horsfall, Ag. National Chairman; Hon. Dahiru Mashainu, Ag. Deputy National Chairman; Hon. Liyasu Mohammed Makaye, Ag. National Secretary; Barr. Maxwell Alaeto, Ag. National Legal Adviser; Evelyn Okere Onyung, Ag. National Publicity Secretary; Barr. Isaac S. Nwachukwu, Ag. National Financial Secretary; Huldah Lynns-Ihetuge, Ag. National Woman Leader and Abdullahi Gambo, Ag. National Youth Leader.

The mandate of the new acting National Executive Council includes but not limited: Ensure there is peace, unity and stability amongst members of the party; reconcile aggrieved members of the party since the inception of the party; protect, preserve and respect the sanctity of the party’s constitution and to ensure that the manifesto of the Young Democratic Party is actualized; take steps to correct the abnormalities and mistakes made by the previous NEC members of the party.

The Ag. National Chairman, Amb. Horsfall at his inaugural meeting warned all disgruntled elements within and outside the party who want to sow seed of discords to desist from such act forthwith as the new leadership of NEC will not tolerate any such further act from within and outside the party capable of causing disaffection/disrespect/disrepute to the YDP.

It will be recalled that it was after Arch. Ezekiel Nya-Etok was suspended that he rushed to the social media to resign his position as the National Chairman of the YDP.

The party on the 12th of October, 2016 notified by writing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the suspension and appointment of acting NEC pending the National Convention scheduled for January 2017.



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