By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
House of Assembly aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, weekend threatened to seek redress in court, if it becomes clear that they were unduly disqualified from participating in the Party’s forthcoming primary election by the Screening Committee sent to conduct the exercise in the State.
The aspirants numbering 27 stated this at a press conference in Abakaliki.
They alleged that the Chairman of the House of Assembly Screening Committee in the state, Mr. Ideato Ideato, had told them shortly after the screening exercise in Abakaliki that they were not cleared on the ground that they did not pay party dues.
The affected aspirants stated that they duly paid their party dues as the party had also issued them with their receipts of payment.
Speaking on behalf of the Group, Mr Chukwu Orji, from Ivo Constituency, alleged that the Chairman of the Screening Committee was working in connivance with Governor David Umahi to ensure that only a few selected State House of Assembly aspirants were cleared to participate in the Party’s primary election.
Orji further alleged that Governor Umahi was also secretly working with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure the defeat of APC during the 2023 general election.
He, therefore called on the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, to call the leader of the party in the state to order, to avoid a repeat of what happened to Zamfara State in 2019 in Ebonyi.
The aspirants vowed to sue the party if they are disqualified from contesting the primary election.
“The Chairman of the Screening Committee, one Ideato Ideato, had shortly after our screening in Abakaliki, sent private text messages to 27 of us, saying that we were not cleared because we didn’t pay party dues.
“We wish to state that we duly paid our party dues and receipts issued to us by the party and we are with the receipts
“There is no reason to disqualify us from contesting the election. We are aware that the Governor already had 24 aspirants he wants to impose on the party but he should allow us to contest and fail if he thinks that his preferred aspirants are more popular than us.
“We call on the National Chairman of the party to intervene and ensure that the right thing is done because we have a strong conviction that Governor Umahi is working with PDP against APC victory ahead of 2023.
“If the party allows Ideato Ideato and Governor David Umahi to screen us out of the contest unduly, we shall be left with no option than to seek redress in court.
“We state unequivocally that we shall challenge our disqualification should the committee be allowed to go ahead to disqualify us,” Orji said.