The National Think Tank Committee of the Action Alliance (AA) has suspended its National Chairman, Mr Kenneth Udeze, and Secretary, Mr James Vernimbe, for alleged gross misconduct and anti-party activities.
The Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar, announced the decision in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting of the committee in Abuja on Sunday.
Hajia Hauwa Habib of Election and Party Monitoring Unit, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), led an INEC team to monitor the meeting.
Abubakar described the committee as highest decision making body of the party.
He explained that the meeting suspended Udeze and Vernimbe based on the recommendation of five-member disciplinary committee investigated and reported on their activities.
“The disciplinary committee was constituted to commence investigation of allegations of gross misconduct against Udeze and Vernimbe respectively.
“This is in line with Article 38 of the party’s constitution. The allegations are as follows:
“That the officers using their position as national chairman and secretary, attempted to withdraw the petition filled by the party against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor of Imo, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, challenging his declaration as winner of the last governorship election in the state.
“That Udeze and Vernimbe unilaterally dissolved the State Executive Committee without the consent of either the National Think Tank Committee or National Executive Committee of the party,” Abubakar said.
He alleged that the officers had not called meetings since their inauguration in April 2017.
He said both officers allegedly diverted into a private account, about N150 million which were proceeds from sales of nomination/expression of interest forms during the 2019 general elections.
Abubakar said that in view of these allegations and the outcome of the disciplinary committee investigation, the National Think Tank Committee found the two officers guilty and suspended them indefinitely.
He said, “the meeting of the National Think Tank Committee of our great party has resolved that I, Muhammed Abubakar, and Eli Moses should be acting as National Chairman and Secretary respectively.
Meanwhile, Udeze told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the allegations against him and Vernimbe were baseless and far from the truth,
He said that he called for meetings thrice after their inauguration.
He recalled that the party held its National Think Tank Committee’s meeting on June 21, where INEC officers who monitored it recommended the adoption of the resolutions of the meeting.
According to him, the resolutions include the suspension of five officers out of 21 members of the National Think Tank Committee.
“These suspended five members who have not formed a quorum are the ones parading themselves as members of the National Think Tank Committee,” he said.
Udeze said the National Secretariat of the party operated one bank account and that the party’s financial position was N7.9 million by June 21. (NAN)