The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Dumebi Kachikwu, has dismissed reports that he had been suspended from the party over alleged anti-party activities.
Kachikwu said that one Bamidele Ajadi who signed the statement announcing his purported suspension had no legal authority to do so as his tenure as the party’s deputy national chairman (politics) had elapsed.
Responding to his alleged suspension at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, the presidential candidate explained that the tenure of the national executive committee of the party led by Ralph Nwosu had expired, adding that the ADC had set up an interim committee that would conduct the election of the NEC.
He said though Nwosu had been in office for 17 years, he had been pleading for a 12-month extension which was not granted.
The businessman slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission for allowing the former chairman to stay in office for over a decade against constitutional provisions.
The presidential candidate said he had no knowledge of the dubious activities going on in the party as he only joined the ADC early this year.
Kachikwu said, “Some party members told me Nwosu was seeking an illegal extension and they are not in support of it. I told them that I, as the presidential candidate of this party, would do everything within my power to ensure that I uphold the constitution. It’s just that my party, the ADC, has been known in the past; it has the dubious distinction as a party that traded the mandate of its candidates.
“In recent memory, we can remember the case of (the late Obadiah) Mailafia, who was the presidential candidate of the party (in 2019) and what happened to him on election day when the party supported another party, having traded his mandate.”
Speaking further, he said a newspaper had asked him last month if the party was in talks with another party, adding that on investigating, he found out that the party had started negotiating with a political party ahead of the 2023 polls.
Corroborating Kachikwu’s claims, the Kogi State Chairman of the ADC and Chairman, Forum of ADC State Chairmen, Mr kingsley Ogga, explained that the National Working Committee’s tenure elapsed on August 28, 2022, and that the members lacked the authority to suspend the presidential candidate.
He said, “We agreed to elect a caretaker committee that would be there for just one month and we said we would do an elective convention immediately. That was where we were when we saw this letter (suspending Kachikwu).”
Nwosu could not be reached on the phone for comment. He had yet to reply to a text message sent to him on the allegations against him.