By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Reformed All Progressives Congress, R-APC, has petitioned Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to invalidate the election of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, upon alleged irregularities at the convention where he emerged.
Besides Oshiomhole, the R-APC is also seeking the annulment of the election of 17 other national officers who emerged at the convention.
In the petition authored by chairman of the R-APC, Buba Galadima, the faction alleged that the conduct of the convention violated several provisions of the party’s constitution and the Electoral Act.
The petition, which was submitted on July 4, 2018, was backed with video evidence to show the alleged irregularities.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in a sharp rebuttal, said INEC had no role to play in the invalidation of a party convention, even as he questioned the basis of the petitioner as to whether he was a candidate in the election.
Galadima in the petition wrote, in part: “I write as a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a member of its Board of Trustees, National Caucus and an automatic delegate at its National Convention, to bring to your notice that on June 23, 2018, All Progressives Congress, APC, purportedly held a very flawed and undemocratic Convention for the purpose of electing its National Officers following the disputed congresses held in various Wards (May 2, 2018), Local Governments (May 5, 2018), State Congress (May 8, 2018).”
“These Congresses leading up to the National Convention of the party were marred with serious irregularities and manipulations to the extent that in at least 22 states, parallel congresses were held and different set of delegates and officers emerged. Some of the states include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“You should please access the Report of your offices in these States for confirmation.
He observed that the emergence of the 18 officers violated Article 20 (1) of the APC Constitution stipulating that officers of the party should only emerge through democratic means.
The officers he listed include National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; National Welfare Secretary, Alhaji Ibrahim Masari; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Tunde Bello; National Physically Challenged, Misbahu L. Didi; Zonal Secretary North-Central, Dr. Zakari Muhammed; Zonal Organising Secretary North-Central, Ibrahim M. Abdul; and Zonal Women Leader North-Central, Hajia Hassana Abdullahi.
Others are Ex-Officio North-Central, Nelson Abba; Zonal Secretary North-East, Abubakar Sadiq Ajia; Ex-Officio North-East, Mallam Isah Azare; Zonal Secretary North-West, Tukur A. Gusau; Zonal Organizing Secretary North-West – Abdulmunab Muhammad; Ex-Officio, North-West; and Nasiru Haladu Danu.
Also include are Zonal Woman Leader South-South, Mrs. Rachael Akpabio; Ex-Officio, South-South, Kotenten Ibadan; Zonal Secretary South-West, Ayo Afolabi; Zonal Women Leader South-West, Mrs. Kemi Nelson; and Ex-Officio South-West, Omoloye O. Akintola.
He alleged that the withdrawal of several candidates was compelled on the convention floor without following any due process, especially for the office of National Secretary and others.
He said further: “What transpired was that the Chairman of the Convention, His Excellency, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, flagrantly usurped the powers of the delegates and declared 18 officers elected without following the laid down criteria.
“I have attached the video recording of the relevant aspects of the proceedings of the convention for your perusal.
“The Convention held on June 23, 2018, which purportedly produced the National Officers of the APC was not conducted in a democratic manner as required by Article 20(1) of the APC Constitution, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.
“All attempts to activate the appeal processes and internal mechanisms of seeking redress as a senior member of the APC was frustrated by the party.”
He thus prayed “INEC to intervene, following precedents established over the years, to declare invalid and unlawful and not to accord any form of recognition to officers purportedly elected at the APC Convention of June 23, 2018.
“The officers include the aforesaid 18 officers and indeed all those who purportedly withdrew during the Convention as they were just declared elected by the Chairman of the Convention Committee without a “Yes” or “No” vote and indeed without any form of democratic foundation.’’
Responding yesterday, Abdullahi said: “INEC has no role to play in the election of party officers and I doubt if those who are complaining were themselves even candidates at the convention.”