The conflict rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has taken a criminal dimension as the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, Tuesday accused the Alhaji Sadiq Massalla-led group of submitting forged signatures of eleven members of the National Executive Committee to the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC).
Following a twist on the crisis in APGA, the police yesterday afternoon visited the party’s secretariat to get written statements from the members whose signatures were allegedly forged.
Umeh, who spoke to journalists at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, said the group in their effort to convince INEC to attend their NEC meeting held last week Monday, forged the signatures of some national officers of the party and included their names as being part of the rebellion.
“We were shocked to see that two of the letters written to INEC dated June 6 and 22 respectively inviting the commission to attend a NEC meeting of the group in Abuja contained forged signatures of eleven of our NEC members,” he said.
Umeh who was flanked by the affected members, showed journalists copies of affidavits deposed at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court alleging a case of forgery.
He said from the evidence contained in the letters submitted to INEC by the group, a prima-facie case has been established against the faction which APGA expects the police to take up and prosecute.
He said the party has also written a protest letter to INEC and the police intimating them of the forgery committed by the group.
According to Umeh, the leadership of the party had taken steps to unravel the factor behind seeming audacity of the reneged group by writing the INEC.
“We wrote INEC last Tuesday asking for the certified true copies of all letters submitted to INEC by Alhaji Sadiq Massalla and his group so that we could know those who are working with them. In adherence to the debates of the Freedom of Information Act, the Chairman of INEC acceded to our request and sent us the certified copies of letters by this amorphous group”.
Speaking on the resurgent dispute in APGA, Umeh said there is no way. The present issue could amount to crisis in the party as the 36 state branches of the party remained united under his leadership. Umeh used the opportunity to deny any direct conflict between him and Governor Peter Zo I of Anambra state whom he described as one of the respected leaders of APGA.
With regard to June 16 NEC meeting, Umeh said there were no more than 10 members of NEC out of the 128 recognised by the party’s constitution who were present at the Massala-led group’ meeting.
“Of all the 36 state chairmen of our party, including 20 out the 29 members of the National Working Committee none has left the party or joined the dissident group. We all intact,” he said.