June 10, 2020

Edo 2020: Why Obaseki’s screening was deferred by screening committee

Obaseki, APC

By Omeiza Ajayi

Ahead of its June 22 governorship primary election in Edo state, the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday began the screening of its aspirants with four of them going through the process while the screening of the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki and another aspirant, Mathew Iduoriyekemwe was shifted to Thursday. 

The development came as Vanguard gathered that the screening committee had received six petitions against the governor and one against Mr Iduoriyekemwe.

As of the time of going to press, Vanguard could not independently ascertain whether the decision of the committee to defer the screening of the duo had any connection with the petitions against them.

Multiple party sources who confirmed the number of petitions against the duo have declined to reveal the identities of the petitioners or the contents of the petition.

ALSO READ: Edo 2020: Nobody can stop my second term bid ― Obaseki

Obaseki had stormed the national secretariat with his supporters at about 1 pm, but no sooner had he entered the secretariat than he rushed back into his car and left the premises.

The four aspirants who were screened were former Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, former Minister of State, Works, Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Hon. Osaro Obazee. While Odubu left the secretariat at 5:30 pm, Ize-Iyamu left an hour later. None of the aspirants spoke with the press.

Addressing journalists before going into the closed-door screening, Chairman of the Committee, Professor Jonathan Ayuba who explained that the responsibility of the committee was to verify the documents submitted by the aspirants, added that his team is not a quasi-judicial body and therefore could not pass any judgment.

He said; “We took this challenge not because it is easy. It is complex and we are putting our integrity at stake. We are not a judicial committee and we are not investigating. Ours is to verify and verification of whatever is submitted to us is based on evidence and also facts. So, that is what we are going to be dealing with.

“Ours is to do our assignment, ours is not to pass judgement because we are not a court of law, Ours is to make recommendations. And I urge you to wait for the official release of such recommendations by the party.

“We are going to interact with all those that indicated interests and if there is any issue, we will raise it with them. There is a difference between a judicial commission because we cannot make a pronouncement because we are not a court of law. The document before us is the same document we are going to present to all those that have purchased the forms. So our interaction is based on that.”