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APC disqualifies Benue, Abia, Cross River reps aspirants as Buhari commits to fair, peaceful polls

By Terhemba Daka and Adamu Abuh, Abuja
27 May 2022   |   4:12 am
An appeal panel of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has disqualified Mr. Sunday Oche and three others from participating in the party’s primaries scheduled for today.

Abdullahi Adamu (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

An appeal panel of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has disqualified Mr. Sunday Oche and three others from participating in the party’s primaries scheduled for today.

This was contained in the report of the three-man panel made up of eminent leaders of the party, dated May 20, 2022, and submitted to the national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, through the office of the national organising secretary.

The findings came after consideration of no fewer than 65 petitions filed against aspirants seeking to contest the House of Representatives election on the platform of the party.

According to the 19-page report, signed by Chief Chinedu Okonkwo (chairman), Kate Nnamani (secretary) and Robinson Uwak (member), the aspirants were disqualified for various offences, and in line with party’s guidelines and extant laws.

Oche, who seeks to represent Ado/Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, was disqualified due to a pending criminal case against him before the Magistrate Court, Bwari, bothering on forgery, perjury and conspiracy.

Dr. Pascal Obi Chigozie, who seeks to represent Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, was disqualified on the ground of anti-party activities.

The committee said petitions from the party’s national vice chairman (South East), Dr. Ijeomah Arodiogbu, and two other members of APC alluded to the fact that the aspirant had earlier presented himself before the screening committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on April 29, 2022.

Another aspirant, Archibong Bassey Joseph from Cross River State, was disqualified after a petition from his brother, Elder Joseph Bassey, alluding that he was the valid owner of the WAEC certificate submitted by the aspirant, and that he (Archibong) did not have his express permission to use it.

Also, Efiong Robinson Edumoh, from Akwa Ibom, was disqualified 6due to “discrepancy in the identity of the aspirant”.

Edumoh was said to have filed ‘Edumoh, Robinson Effiong’ in the expression of interest and nomination forms, whereas, the name on his voter card reads ‘Abianga, Robinson Effiong’.

MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, restated commitment to ensuring peaceful and fair elections in 2023.

He also expressed his resolve to see that only candidates with integrity emerge.

Buhari spoke when he received an APC aspirant vying for Kano Central Senatorial seat, Basheer Garba Lado, at State House, Abuja.

Briefing newsmen after his closed-door meeting with the President, he said: “As you are aware, Kano State is the largest producer of votes in Nigeria. It is the decider of who becomes the next president.

“Just like my governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has done in the past, I respectfully informed and reassured Mr. President that APC is still the party to beat in Kano despite recent defections.”

He added: “After my briefing, Mr. President reiterated his commitment to credible and peaceful elections and a desire to see candidates with integrity prevail.”