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ADP suspends national chairman

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Crisis of confidence is rocking the leadership of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) over alleged diversion of over N200 million, among other allegations.

Consequently, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) has suspended the national chairman, Mr. Yabagi Sani for allegedly diverting the funds into personal use.

But Sani has dismissed the suspension order, claiming that the constitution of the party did not empower them NWC members to suspend him.

The suspension order, signed by seven members of the NWC and dated April 26, 2019, listed 12 “illegal acts” against the party chairman. The party chiefs announced Alhaji Najeem Awodele as Acting National Chairman for the time being.

A copy of the suspension order, obtained by our correspondent on Monday, stated that the N200 million allegedly misappropriated and diverted by Sani was the money realised from payments for Nomination and Expression of Interest forms by aspirants and candidates in the 2019 general elections.

Sani was also accused of forging the signature of the National Secretary, Dr James Okoroma with which he presented a fake resolution to Polaris Bank and other banks for the removal of the National Treasurer, Chief Iboro Ige-Edaba as signatory to the party’s bank accounts.

The party chair was also accused of constant physical attacks on ADP national officers and refusal to pay their remunerations for two years.

The NWC members also alleged that Sani doctored the party’s constitution and criminal insertion of strange clauses meant to perpetuate himself in office as National Leader, Life Leader, Presidential Candidate, National Chairman and the only signatory to the party’s bank accounts.

Also listed against Sani was the alleged use of his personal staff to run the affairs of the party against the provisions of the ADP constitution and non-disclosure of monetary donations to the party by some prominent Nigerians.

In view of the above and the need to reposition the party, a change in the leadership of the ADP has become inevitable. The NWC has decided to suspend Mr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani in order to enable him respond to all the allegations against him and to clear his name”, the document stated.

The NWC members that signed the suspension order are Dr. James Okoroma (National Secretary); Chief Iboro Ige-Edaba (National Treasurer); Esther Oche (National Special Duties Secretary); Mr Obadiah Bichi (National Legal Adviser); Mr. Tope Salami (National Financial Secretary); Prince Edobor Oghosa (National Youth); and Dr. Chris Nzekwu (National Leader, PLWD).

Accordingly, former Agriculture Minister and Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ADP, Alhaji Najeem Awodele has been appointed Acting National Chairman by the NWC pending the conduct of congress,” the document added.

In a swift reaction however, Sani, in a WhatsApp message to our correspondent on Monday, declared that he remained the National Chairman of the ADP.

According to the party chairman who also doubled as the candidate of the ADP in the 2019 presidential election, the NWC members that suspended him, had themselves been suspended a long time ago.

Sani said, “Let me make it clear that the purported suspension is self-defeating, dead on arrival and completely invalid. The so called NWC members are either former or suspended ADP National officers who are no longer members of the ADP NWC.

For instance Dr. James Okoroma knows he is no longer ADP National Secretary by the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of ADP which has since several months ago been duly communicated to INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission)

Mr. Obadiah Bichi who is purported to be the National Legal Adviser has since withdrawn his membership of ADP. By the ADP Constitution, the NWC cannot suspend the National Chairman.

In any event, none of the signatories to the purported resolution suspending the National Chairman is a member of ADP NWC. I therefore state categorically that I remain the National Chairman of the ADP”.

Sani however, declined comments on the allegations of diverting N200 million, forgery of party documents and high handedness in the running of party affairs.

I will not want to comment about the false and damaging allegations made against my person, including misappropriation, forgery and high handedness in the running of the party; as those matters have already been submitted to a court of competent jurisdiction,” the party chair stated.

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