The State Of Affairs In The UPP
On Tuesday the 15th of August 2017 at about 3.30pm, while on a campaign swing through Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo local government areas, I received notification of my indefinite suspension pending the determination of “my case” by the disciplinary committee of the Anambra state chapter of the UPP. Another aspirant for the office of governor, Chief Osita Chidoka was similarly suspended. Whoever came up with the idea to suspend the only two governorship aspirants in the UPP, four days to a scheduled primaries due on the 19th of August 2017, does not wish the party well and has a lot of explanation to make.
The national headquarters of the party responded swiftly by dissolving the state executive committee with ‘immediate effect’. This terminology you may recall was popularized by the military regimes of yore and should not be part of our democratic lexicon. And the action even if well intentioned, is not in the interest of the party and the national headquarters may have acted ultra vires its powers. If the action of the state chapter was curious, equally curious was the reaction of the national headquarters. Why dissolve the state executive committee four days to a primary election in which the state executive committee has crucial roles to play?
The fact is that the contending parties have been at loggerheads for several weeks over the list of delegates for the governorship primaries. The list of delegates elected at the ward and local government levels was unilaterally amended by the national headquarters to the chagrin of the party rank and file, yours truly inclusive. The state chapter waged a relentless battle with the national headquarters insisting on the sanctity of the delegates list. Obviously, someone stands to gain from the alteration of the delegates list but it would not have mattered if the alterations were legally done. No one or organ of the party can unilaterally remove a ward chairman or secretary or indeed any officer of the party duly elected and engage in whimsical replacements.
The threat of sanctions by the national headquarters apparently triggered the bizarre indiscriminate suspensions unleashed by the state executive on the 15th of August 2017. Earlier that day, as we now know, Justice Y Halilu of the FCT High Court, in suit no CV/2658/17 between Obi Emekekwue [Assistant publicity secretary UPP Anambra state] and United Progressive party and five others, gave an interim order directing the defendants to follow its time table/guidelines and constitution in all its activities pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion. The suit was adjourned to the 29th of August 2017 for definite hearing.
The issues for determination before the court are
 Whether members of the local government and ward committees, having been elected and inaugurated, can be unilaterally amended or altered by any member of the party outside the local government area congress and ward congress that elected them?
 Whether having regard to article 12 &  and article 23  of the UPP constitution, any other person or member of the party other than the Anambra state chairman of the party can preside over the Anambra state congress for the purpose of the governorship primary election?
These two issues need to be carefully resolved in order to preserve and protect the integrity of the primaries and the court has mandated the UPP to follow its constitutional provisions in the conduct of the primaries.
On the issue of my suspension from the party, I have since forwarded to the state secretariat all relevant documents submitted during the screening exercise and the mode of payment of the nomination fee, Guarantee Trust Bank draft dated 27/7/17 in the sum of five million Naira and five hundred thousand Naira in favor of UPP. I did not make any payment to the personal account of the national chairman of UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie or any other person. The allegations are false and I expect a retraction from the state chapter of the party.
Hon. Chudi Offodile