- Party to give verdict tuesday
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
There are indications that the appeal panel which examined the petitions against the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has recommended its cancellation.
In the report of panel submitted monday, the panel asked the party leadership to set aside the primaries and to organise fresh one as soon as possible to beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
THISDAY gathered from sources that both the chairman and secretary of the appeal committee signed in support of the cancellation while the other member of the three-man panel disagreed with the cancellation.
According to reliable party source, the appeal committee recommended that the primary be cancelled and fresh primary be organised as soon as possible to beat INEC’s deadline for the exercise.
The source said the panel hinged the cancellation on the distortion of the delegates list.
It also said the there were evidence that non-party members were recruited to participate in the exercise.
It was gathered that the meeting the National Working Committee (NWC) convened to consider the panel’s report failed to reach final verdict on the matter, thus adjourning deliberations till tuesday.
After meeting for several hours on the report monday, the NWC resolved to adjourn deliberation for tuesday.
The meeting, which lasted for over three hours and was held at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, had all the NWC members in attendance.
It was summoned specifically to consider the report of the Mrs. Helen Bendega-led Appeal Panel Committee on the Ondo governorship primaries conducted on September 3.
A source at the party secretariat, told THISDAY that some of the issues raised in the report were very touchy and sensitive that members of the NWC felt it should devote more time to ensure exhaustive consideration before taking a decision.
Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had won the governorship primary, defeating amongother contestants, Mr. Segun Abraham, the preferred candidate of the national leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu.
Following their non-approval of the outcome of the primaries, Segun Abraham, Olusola Oke and Senator Ajayi Borofice had petitioned the APC Appeal Panel Committee headed by Benaga, alleging irregularities on the delegates list for the primaries.
In attendance at the meeting yesterday to revealed the report of the Appeal Panel were: National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, two Deputy National Chairmen South and North, Segun Oni and Senator Shuiabu Lawal respectively.
Others were: National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu, National Treasurer, Mohammed Gwagwarwa, National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, Deputy National Secretariat, Hon. Oji Ngofa and all the National Vice Chairmen of the party.
Speaking, on the outcome of the meeting, Oyegun said the meeting has not taken final decision yet and it has adjourned to continue tuesday.
His position was collaborated by the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.