By Lateef Ibrahim
The crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) on Monday assumed a new dimension as some members of the party, under the aegis of Labour Party Youth Vanguard, LPYV, protested to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) calling for the removal of the name of its immediate past National Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Abdulsalami from the commission’s website.
The protesters claimed that the retention of Salami’s name in the website is misleading.
The placard carrying LPYV members, led by its Coordinator, Abdullahi Ahmed converged at the gate of INEC and called on the Commission to recognize Mr. Mike Omotosho as the new national chairman of the party.
They explained that Omotosho emerged as the new national chairman following a special convention monitored by INEC, the police and the media after the police had indicted Salami for criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and forgery.
The group stated that Labour Party had duly informed INEC in writing, and due process followed in the removal of the former chairman of the party.
The Labour Party Youth Vanguard recalled that the party obtained a court injunction restraining the former Chairman from having access to the National Secretariat of the party.
While giving insight into why Salami was removed from office, the LP Youth Vanguard stated, “Allegation of embezzlement, forgery and anti-party activities were leveled against the former Chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalami; this was arising from a petition from a governorship candidate of our party in the just concluded Anambra State governorship election, Engr. Christian Ikechukwu Enemuo wherein he accused Alhaji A.A. Salam of defrauding him of the sum of Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (20,500,000.00) without giving him the party’s ticket, even when he was the lone candidate.
“Consequently, the National Working Committee of the party met and reviewed the allegations and a disciplinary committee was set up to give fair hearing to all sides.
“The former Chairman, Treasurer, Legal Adviser and National Vice Chairman South East refused to appear before the committee and another letter requesting their response in writing was forwarded to them.
“All correspondence as aforementioned already stated that failure to appear and respond will attract consequences such as suspension from the party and removal from office.
“The National Working Committee later met to ratify the report of the Disciplinary Committee where it was agreed that the case of fraud and embezzlement be reported to the Police.
“The Police have since indicted him for criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, forgery and The Independent National Electoral Commission was duly informed in writing, the 21 days notice was duly given, the Police was informed and all other procedures followed diligently.
“The Special Convention was held on the 3rd of October, 2017. Three members of the Independent National Electoral Commission monitored, the Police was present, the Media and other stakeholders were present and all the laid down rules in our constitution were followed to the letter.
“The former Chairman, Alhaji A.A Salam was removed from office.
“A new National Chairman, Dr. Mike Omotosho emerged in the convention.
As already noted the special National Convention was monitored by INEC but we are aware of the efforts made by Alhaji A.A. Salam to compromise some principal officers in INEC in order to delay the recognition processes of Dr. Mike Omotosho as Chairman.
“However, it is the responsibility and within the purview of Political Parties to determine the officers of the Party and communicate same to INEC for effective working relationship and this has been done since 4th October making it 121 days”, they said.
Meanwhile the National Working Committee has gotten a court injunction restraining the former Chairman from having access to the National Secretariat.
“In conclusion, we urge you to use your good offices to prevail on relevant officers within INEC to remove the former Chairman’s name from the INEC website and replace with Dr. Mike Omotosho, the new Chairman” they said
The petition by the protesters was received by the Assistant Director in charge of Security at INEC, Mr. Musa Sekpe who assured them that it will be delivered at the appropriate quarter.