In spite of the intervention of several chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has reopened criminal investigation case on allegations of forgery against the national chairman of the ruling party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Also being investigated in the forgery case are, some leaders of the party in Delta State.
APC candidate for the Sapele/Okpe/Uwvie Federal Constituency, Christopher Anirah, had petitioned the police after he was declared dead by the APC while his name was substituted with Gobson Akporehe with alleged forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The case was stalled following the transfer the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Edo State Command, Mr. Fave Sewali, who was suddenly transferred to Lagos after he invited Odigie-Oyegun for questioning.
The case has now been referred to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Abuja by the IGP for “thorough investigation before prosecution of the persons involved”.
According to the report, the petitioner, Mr. Anirah was invited to the FCID to give his statement, revealing that police had begun investigation into the matter and the APC national chairman was also invited for questioning.
“You don’t worry, we working on the matter. When we conclude our investigation, the public will be told [about the outcome],” said the source.
When contacted for comment, Mr. Anirah also confirmed that he had honoured the invitation of the FCID to give statement.
The report indicated that the governorship candidate of the party in Delta State, Emerhor Otega, initiated a plan to reach a settlement with Mr. Anirah to withdraw his case.
The settlement plan included the condition that the APC would write INEC to state that the party was misled into declaring Mr. Anirah dead; payment of specified amount of money be made and that Mr. Anirah would cease to pursue the matter in court and withdraw it from the police.
However, Anirah confirmed offer of settlement proposed by Mr. Otega but said the plan failed as the parties could not agree on terms, as the conditions were not “pleasant”.
Although the petitioner admitted collecting the sum of N2 million from Mr. Otega, he said the money was part of what was due to him as the candidate of the party not part of the settlement.
When contacted, Mr. Otega said he met with Mr. Anirah in order to broker the matter. “I have been having discussions with Anirah on a way to settle a matter that is purely a party affair!
He agreed to terms of settlement, which were reduced to writing. He accepted and collected part payment in advance in form of a cheque, which he cleared.
“On the day of execution of the agreement, he reopened negotiations for a higher amount. We therefore suspended the discussion to allow him make up his mind as it was beginning to look like blackmail.
“I am involved because I am the leader of the party in Delta State and cannot allow anybody to drag the name of the party down. So we believe that we have responsibility to bring everybody to the table, put the matter behind us and move on as a party.
Presidential Primaries: Disquiet as PDP loses Eagle Square to APC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may now be forced to use the MKO Abiola Stadium in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for its May 28 presidential primary according to new developments.
The APC was said to have used the influence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammed Musa Bello, to quickly reserve the Eagles Square for its presidential primary scheduled to hold between May 30 and June 1.
The PDP had during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting ratified the conduct of the presidential primary (special national convention) to elect its presidential candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The venue, has, however, become an issue as the APC had already fixed the venue of its convention at Eagle Square, Abuja, where PDP had its special convention to elect its national officers in October, last year.
In its letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, it was learnt, stated that it will hold its convention at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The venue, some stakeholders of the party, who do not want their names mentioned, said the place is too small for where the presidential primary should take place.
It was noted that the party is expecting about 3,700 delegates with about 10,000 supporters and staff, while the capacity of the facility, where the primary will take place at the MKO Stadium, is about 7,000.
The party stakeholders have expressed sadness that the venue will not be able to accommodate the delegates, supporters and friends of aspirants.
Of more concern, the stakeholders said is that, according to the schedule of PDP activities, the party was supposed to publish the names of delegates on Tuesday and that has not been done.
Shekarau dumps APC for NNPP
Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Kano State Governor, has officially dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
This was confirmed on Tuesday via a terse statement on the official Twitter account of the NNPP.
The statement, which reads: “Finally: Sen Ibrahim Shekarau Join Us”, was shared alongside a photo of Senator Shekarau and Senator Ibrahim Kwankwaso.
Recall that there had been some back and forth about Shekarau’s planned defection to the NNPP, with some power brokers in the APC said to be negotiating with the former governor not to leave the ‘broom party.’
However, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has been at the helm of the vanguard, working to ensure Shekarau’s defection from the APC to the NNPP.
On Sunday, Kwankwaso stormed the residence of Shekarau in Kano to work out details of the defection.
INEC gives APC, PDP, others deadlines
Ahead of primaries, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given deadlines to political parties on nomination and withdrawal of candidates.
The electoral commission also foreclosed the adjustment of election timetable.
In line with its guidelines, INEC has directed the parties to submit lists of delegates for elective offices to it, seven days to the date of the primary.
Both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) submitted designated centres for their national conventions to INEC yesterday.
APC opted for the Eagle Square while the PDP chose the Velodrome at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
It was learnt that unlike in the past, the commission decline to bend the rules so as not to distort the timelines for the 2023 poll.
The commission has fixed the last day for withdrawal of candidate(s) and the replacement of withdrawn candidate(s) for July 15 (Presidential and National Assembly) and August 12 for governorship and Houses of Assembly.
Also, while the last day for submission of nomination forms for presidential and National Assembly election is August 8, the curtains will be drawn for governorship and Houses of Assembly on August 18.
The publication of final list of nominated candidates will be on September 20 (Presidential and National Assembly elections) and October 4 for other strands.
But the public campaign for the presidential and National Assembly elections will kick off on September 28 and that of the governorship and Houses of Assembly is from October 4.
According to a top official of INEC, the parties have been notified of the timelines for appropriate guidance.
The guidelines read in part: “In compliance with Article 4.5.1 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries, a political party that adopts the indirect primary mode, shall make available to the commission not later than seven days to the date of the primary, the list of persons that will form the delegates that are eligible to vote for nomination of the party candidate to contest every elective position. “
“The list of delegates shall be accompanied with the list of aspirants and the list of the party Electoral panel conducting the primary.
“In compliance with Section 84(9-11) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party that adopts the Consensus Primary mode shall make available to the commission copies of the written consent of all aspirants cleared for the position indicating their endorsement of the consensus candidate who shall then be ratified by a special congress or convention
“In compliance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, primaries and voting by members or delegates of a political party to nominate candidates for elective positions shall hold at designated centres within the respective national, state, senatorial, federal and state constituencies.
“Primaries held outside designated constituencies shall accordingly be invalid.”
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