Court upholds Sowore, Fabiyi’s suspension as AAC Chairman, Deputy
A Federal High Court in Abuja has upheld the suspension of Omoyele Sowore and Malcom Fabiyi as the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).
In a judgment Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo equally upheld the appointment of Dr. Leonard Nzewa as the party’s acting National Chairman.
Justice Ekwo granted all the reliefs sought in the suit filed by Nzewa, among which was for the court to affirm the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to suspend Sowore and Fabiyi for six months at its meeting held on March 27, 2019.
Sowore, who is the publisher of online news platform, Saharareporters, was the party’s presidential candidate in the February 23, 2019 election.
The party’s NEC suspended him, Fabiyi and some others for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities.
Justice Ekwo dismissed the objection filed by Sowore and Fabiyi against the suit on the grounds that they failed to personally depose to the counter-affidavit filed against the suit.
The judge held that the deposition made on their behalf by Dr. John Adeoye would not be considered because Adeoye was not a party to the suit.
He noted that it was an elementary principle of law that it was only a party to a case that could depose to an affidavit evidence in defence of his or her case.
Justice Ekwo said the reasons given by Sowore and Fabiyi for being unable to depose to the affidavit,was untenable.
On Adeoye’s deposition to the effect that Sowore and Fabiyi were unable to depose to the counter-affidavit personally because they were outside the country when the suit was filed, he said such an excuse did not portray them to be serious in defending the case.
The judge noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to file any defence in the case.
The judge ruled: “It is my opinion that Dr. John Adeoye is not a party in this case and cannot give evidence. I find that the evidence of Dr. John Adeoye goes to nought.
“Anybody who does not take a suit instituted against him seriously must prepare to bear the brunt of his carelessness.
“I find that the evidence of the plaintiff has not been challenged or controverted. I thereby ascribe probative value to it.
“On the whole, the case ought to succeed, and I so hold.”