Virtually all members of the Enugu Electrical Dealers Association, Kenyatta Market, Enugu stood away from the association’s election slated for Today.The incumbent executive’s tenure had reportedly expired June 21,2020 after a tenure of 3 years and the Chairman, Mr. Jacob Amazuilo, was supposed to have conducted an election but he had declined insisting that he had not stayed up to 36 calendar months as prescribed by their constitution.
However, while most members wanted a free, open and fair election, they lament that the Chairman wanted and preferred a kangaroo type election.
Based on this universal demand for an election, the incumbent Chairman, Mr. Jacob Amazuilo took the agitators to court.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Chairman for Enugu South waded in and wanted to resolve the impasse where upon the court gave them leave to settle the issue.
The Chairman had reportedly gone ahead to set up an electoral committee charged with conducting the election as ordered by the court.
They scheduled the election for December 2020 but failed to do so and yet could not hold another billed for January 15, 2020.
According to Mr. Kelvin Ugwu, chairmanship candidate and leader of opposing group who conducted newsmen round the shops of members of the group to establish that majority of the members had boycotted the said election,” see virtually all our members are busy in their shops, trading and doing other activities while the kangaroo election is said to holding simultaneously at the Local Council headquarters. Who then went for the said election except the old executive hell bent on returning itself? As part of their strategy, they published and posted impromptu notice for the said election around 5 PM after making an oral general announcement around 4.40 PM, not even giving us 24hours notice or the constitutionally allowed sufficient notice and time. Again, they connived with electoral committee to screen out all contestants other than those of the old executive who were all seeking a return and we ask them since the association had not met since February 2020, how then could the so called debtors have known of their indebtedness and are able to settle same? How is it possible that it is only those of us contesting against them that were indebted to the association and were notified to clear our debts? Why was the Committee in a hurry to hold a kangaroo election as against order of the court that said that sufficient notice has to be given to parties concerned? After all, we were the ones that approached the court on Jan 18, 2020, for an order of mandamus to the Committee to conduct the said election after having failed twice previously to do so. It is perhaps because the executive had become aware of their rejection by the association that they decided to collude with and compromise the Committee to conduct a kangaroo election, to the exclusion members in order to ensure that they perpetuate themselves in office so the whole thing is a charade, can’t you see our people doing business with their shops open and customers trooping in and out with goods.? Normally we use to close up our shops during such an election, yes the entire Plaza where we are now used to be closed for business such occasions.”
Asked of their reaction when they got wind of the short notice of the election, Ugwu disclosed that while oral message came up on the eve of the said election,” the written notice which came out about the same time was backdated to 21st January whereas it was posted on 28th January. We then reached the Local Government Chairman, Hon Monday Eneh but he did say or did anything to address the issue, and when also contacted, the Committee Chairman, Bar. Ken Inyamah surprised us by alluding to the issue we had gone to court and reported them for demanding 1 million Naira to conduct the and that it was the reason had been delayed, so they had to fix the said election the way they did to prove us wrong.”, he explained.
On their next line of action as the election has been reported held and the sitting executive returned unopposed, Ugwu on behalf of his insisted on seeking legal redress,” as far as we are concerned, no election took place today. We are law abiding and will use legal means to void that kangaroo election and its outcome,” he submitted.
Efforts to get the LG boss’s comment yielded no result as he was said to out of the office and could not be reached on phone as the reelected were sighted at the election venue in very jubilant mood..
Contacted later on phone, the Committee Chairman, Barr.Ken Inyamah said he had no regrets on the conduct of the election by his committee and therefore owes nobody any apologies.
He stated that the election followed due constitutional process commencing with screening of contestants after which the results were published and posted in the pertinent places. He cited sections 13: i ii, and 7:c of the association’s constitution on who was qualified or not to contest the election to vote and to be voted for, or to be considered as a member.” So my committee did not disqualify anybody as alleged but it is their constitution that qualifies”, he explained pointing out that due process was followed as sufficient was given and that disqualified were aware of their status for more than two years and had refuse to clear their debts” only waited up till now to want to do so if they have anything against the election, they should they can approach the court for redress” he said with finality.