Sowore said those who wanted to destroy the party have been put to shame.
Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore has reacted to the verdict of an Appeal Court in Abuja, affirming him as the substantive Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Sowore had in an appeal marked CA/A/812/2019 challenged a High Court judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo declaring a Nigerian government usurper, Leonard Nzenwa, as the Acting Chairman of the party.
Delivering judgement in the appeal on Thursday on behalf of the three-man panel, Justice A.J. Adah held that the lower court had no jurisdiction to meddle in the internal affairs of the party.
The court also struck out the suit filed by Nzenwa, which is the basis upon which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accorded him recognition as Acting Chairman of the party.
Reacting in a statement on Friday, Sowore said those who wanted to destroy the party have been put to shame.
Sowore, who is also a presidential aspirant on the platform of the AAC, thanked party members for their support in the struggle to save the party from impostors.
“Yesterday, the court finally gave us the victory that is long overdue,” he said.
He noted that “while we never doubted the validity of our cause, the sanctity of our party was at stake,” adding that people who want to destroy good things will “always seek havoc and create distractions when the stakes are the most high”.
He continued, “But alas, they have again been put to shame, as we have reclaimed our beloved party and the courts have only confirmed what we have always known to be true and correct.
“My beloved community, friends, comrades, party members, you have been true, you have been faithful, you have been loyal and you have been unrelenting in your support for me and for our beloved party the African Action Congress (AAC).
“As always, I want to express the full sincerity of my appreciation for your commitment and your unwavering strength which allows me to continue to fight, even when the hour is most dark and the road ahead seems too daunting to continue.
“A great political party is not about individuals, it is about collective power, it is about the joining of dedicated people, with common goals and passions, that come together and join hands, side by side, to fight, build and strengthen a common platform for the progress of all. A party is the vanguard of the people, it is not a place where selfish ambition is given room to bloat.
”We have watched with disgust the process of primaries in other parties. We have seen live and in person, the criminality of the Nigerian state manifest for the whole world to see as the collective wealth of Nigerians was squandered on delegates.
”This is stolen money! How can you rejoice and shout for joy when a thief extends his hand to give you a tiny sum of what he has stolen from you! But we will not spend this time with the distractions of the ruling elite. But we can’t continue like this!!! Nigerians deserve better than the thieves and thugs that continue to try and hoodwink us!
”Beloved members, as you have been faithful over these past months and years, fighting to reclaim our great party, know that this is just the beginning of another phase of struggle.
”Over the next few months, the real test of our party’s strength will come to bear. We will see more attacks, more infiltration, more secret service personnel in our midst, but we must be strong. We have to stand together to continue to build the most democratic, inclusive and powerful movement that Nigeria has ever seen.
”We must reach into every village, every creek, every slum, every farm, every city, every town to bring people into our party and into our dream of a great Nigeria. Nigeria must no longer be a place where dreams come to die, it must no longer be a place for the sons and daughters of the rich to come and spend our stolen wealth on parties and revelry.
”Nigeria belongs to us, and the African Action Congress is our party, the party of the people, the party that can lead Nigeria out of this present darkness into the promised land, into the Nigeria that we know is possible, into the Nigeria that belongs to all of us.”
A judgment formerly obtained by Nzenwa, the expelled General Secretary of the party, at the FCT High Court on June 19, 2019, noted that Sowore was validly suspended by the National Executive Committee of the party, alongside the Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Malcom Fabiyi.
But Sowore, Fabiyi, AAC nor INEC was joined as a party to the suit.
On Thursday, the Appeal Court held that the matter was an internal affair and that the High Court had no jurisdiction to meddle in the party’s internal affairs.
The court nullified the judgment of the lower court and affirmed Sowore as the national chairman of the party, dismissing Nzenwa.
The presidential aspirant of the party had prayed the court through the National Legal Adviser of the AAC party, Inibehe Effiong, to set aside the judgment of the lower court and grant all the reliefs sought by the appellant.
The court, hence, struck out the suit filed by Nzenwa which was the basis upon which the Independent National Electoral Commission accorded him recognition as the acting chairman of the party.
The court subsequently awarded a sum of N200,000 as damages to Sowore.
Source:- Sahara Reporters