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Kogi East Senate: PDP screening committee disqualifies Suleiman, Okpanachi

By Guardian Nigeria
29 April 2022   |   1:30 pm
The National Assembly Screening Committee of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State has disqualified Aminu Abubakar Suleiman and Ubolo Itodo Okpanachi from the Kogi East senatorial contest over various acts of misconduct. The result of Wednesday’s screening exercise, which was released on Thursday in Lokoja, the state capital, showed that while Isaac Alfa…

Aminu Abubakar Suleiman and Ubolo Itodo Okpanachi

The National Assembly Screening Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State has disqualified Aminu Abubakar Suleiman and Ubolo Itodo Okpanachi from the Kogi East senatorial contest over various acts of misconduct.

The result of Wednesday’s screening exercise, which was released on Thursday in Lokoja, the state capital, showed that while Isaac Alfa and Victor Adoji received the committee’s nod to proceed with their senatorial aspirations, Suleiman and Okpanachi were disqualified from the race.

Suleiman was screened out because he is not a registered voter in the senatorial district, and is therefore ineligible to participate in the senatorial election, while Okpanachi was not cleared because of his alleged involvement in anti-party activities and a plethora of other petitions challenging his legibility to contest.

Concerning Suleiman, the committee is said to have noted that the fact that he is not eligible to vote or take part in an election in the senatorial district automatically foreclosed his chances of benefiting from any vote cast in the district. Suleiman, the committee further noted, has not voted for anyone in Kogi East and hence not qualified to run.

Okpanachi, meanwhile, is alleged to be a mole of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC), a party he is said to have joined and at some point was given an appointment on its platform.

Though the 2017 constitution of the PDP, as amended, allows members who defected from the party to return, such returning members are to fulfil certain conditions to be considered for elective positions, which in the estimation of the screening committee, Okpanachi has not fulfilled.

These conditions, as spelt out in Chapter 2, Part 1, subsections 16 and 17 of the PDP’s constitution, have to do with the procedures for re-joining the party, status of a defected member and other membership-related matters.

The disqualified aspirants, meanwhile, are said to have indicated interest in approaching the party’s screening appeals committee to seek redress, which if successful, could provide veritable grounds for litigation against the party in the future.

Meanwhile, out of the seven aspirants vying for the Kogi Central Senatorial seat, four, including a former senator, Ahmed Ogembe, were disqualified.

Similarly, an aspirant to the House of Representatives from the Idah Federal Constituency, Hon. Ismail Inah Hussein, was disqualified on the grounds of anti-party activities.