The Federal High Court in Abuja has upheld the suspension of Omoyele Sowore as the National Chairman and Malcom Fabiyi as the Deputy National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Delivering judgment on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo affirmed the appointment of Dr. Leonard Nzewa as the Acting National Chairman of the party .
Justice Ekwo also granted all the prayers contained in the suit instituted by Nzewa seeking the validation of the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NWC) to suspend Sowore and Fabiyi for six months.
Sowore who was the party’s presidential candidate in the February 23 general elections was suspended along with Fabiyi and others for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities at a meeting held on March 27.
In dismissing Sowore and Fabiyi’s objection to the suit, the judge held that the pair 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 was a nullity as he was not a party to the suit and therefore cannot give evidence .
While noting that it was an elementary principle of law that only a party to a case could depose to an affidavit in defence of his or her case. Justice Ekwo ruled that the reasons given by Sowore and his deputy for their inability to depose to a counter-affidavit affidavit was untenable.
Adeoye, who deposed to the counter-affidavit had argued that both Sowore and Fabiyi were unable to personally depose to the counter-affidavit because they were outside the country when the suit was instituted.
“Anybody who does not take a suit instituted against him seriously must prepare to bear the brunt of his carelessness,” the judge said.
The judge further noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not file any defence as such the evidence of the plaintiff was not challenged or controverted.
He thereafter went ahead to grant all the prayers in the originating summons.