By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”A group in Edo State, the Independent Committee of Patriots (ICP), has petitioned the Senate President, David Mark, alleging that Mr. Jude Idehen, who was nominated by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to represent Edo State in the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is not qualified to be confirmed by the Senate.
The petition argued that â€œby virtue of the provisions of section 2 of the NDDC Act, a person to be nominated must be a person with proven integrity and credibility and with the greatest respect, the said nominee is not qualified as a person of proven integrityâ€.
But in a swift reaction, the spokesman of the Action Congress (AC) in the state, Mr. Reti Uzzi, described the allegations levelled against Idehen as â€œpolitical lies that will not stand the test of timeâ€.
â€œBefore Idehen contested election asÂ a member of the House of Assembly,â€ Uzzi added â€œ he was duly screened and as a result he went on to contest the election. It means that all his documents cannot be faulted. But we know those behind the petition, we know their antecedents. We will only tell the SenatePresident to disregard them because all the allegations are full of mischiefs and liesâ€.
The nomination of Idehen who an Action Congress member, representing Ikpoba Okhai in the state House of Assembly had torn the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) apart after it was discovered that two out of the three Senators in the state, had backed his nomination by the President.
However, in the petition signed by the President of the group, ICP, Mr Scott Osagiede, the Secretary, Amenze Omoregie and two others, it alleged that the nominee â€œ claimed to have attended American International University Computer Training Institute, but our investigation in the said institute is to the effect that they have no record of any such student that has passed through the institute.
â€œ He also attached to the said form a personal income tax clearance certificate for the periods of 2003-2005 paid in Irrua in Esan Central Local Government, whereas his alleged place of work was in Benin City in Oredo Local Government Area. We believe that Mr President would not have nominated him, had he been in possession of these factsâ€ it stated.