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INEC okays APGA's national convention

By The Citizen

AT last, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given the nod for the Maxi Okwu-led faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to hold its national convention slated for today at the Women Centre in Awka.

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ibrahim Carefor, had dragged the chairman of the opposition merger committee, Tom Ikimi, to a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court over his alleged inclusion of the name of his party in the proposed merger of opposition parties into the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Also, APGA chairman, Dr. Tim Menakaya, has congratulated the party executive and members for successfully conducting a peaceful congress in Anambra State thereby laying to rest the seeming squabbles within the leadership of the party in the state.

INEC had earlier refused to endorse the request by the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to hold the national convention, arguing that the APGA constitution vests the powers to convene a national convention only on the National Executive Committee (NEC)

But contrary to the INEC earlier position, the interim chairman, Maxi Okwu, in a letter to the electoral body, dated March 11, 2013, posited that the planned convention was in line with Article 22 (1) of the party, which he filed with INEC, arguing that with the Enugu High Court's dissolution of the Victor Umeh-led NEC, the party had no other option than to hold a national convention, where it will elected its new National Executive Committee as it cannot remain without a NEC.

Okwu also argued in his letter to INEC that the strength of the March 11 letter for a national convention was in pursuant of Article 85 of the Electoral Act (as amended).

INEC, after going through Okwu's letter, responded in another mail issued last Friday, which was signed by its secretary, Abdulahi Kaugama and made available to The Guardian approving the party's claim on the need to hold its national convention.

The commission in the letter with Ref. No. INEC/DPPM & L/APGA/003/T/87, which referred to the APGA's letter of March 11, noted the scheduling of the party's congress nationwide and national convention, adding that it will send monitors to the congress and national convention as scheduled by the party.