Niger APC Crisis Deepens as Police Detain State Chairman

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Crisis seems to be presently beclouding the Niger State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has led to a crack in the state executive and working committees of the party.

Following a petition by the Financial Secretary of the party, Mallam Idris Nma Mohammed, police in Minna last Tuesday evening invited and detained the state Chairman of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Jibrin Imam.

Imam’s detention by the police came about an hour after he presided over the State Working Committee of the party where the issue of the petition by the party Financial Secretary, Mohammed, was discussed.

The meeting, THISDAY learnt, resolved to set up a five-man panel to look into action of the financial secretary for allegedly violating the letters of the party constitution. The panel is to determine if the financial secretary has violated any section of the APC constitution by divulging sensitive information to the public without exhausting laid down procedure, Imam said.

“For a member to divulge information about the party without the party’s consent, and even went to the Police, thereby reneging on the laws, is anti-party act. All executive members swore to the oath to abide by the party’s constitution.

“The financial secretary is mischievous; we have set up a five-man committee, and he has been directed to appear before the committee,” Imam said

However, the financial secretary, flanked by the state Auditor of the party, Malam Adamu Baba Mohammed, after the SWC meeting which they also attended, told journalists that “I will not appear before any kangaroo panel.

“The meeting of today (Tuesday) is a kangaroo meeting, and I will not appear before any kangaroo panel. I am ready to prove my allegation of corruption.”

He and the auditor claimed that the nearly N2billion generated by the party from various sources, including donations, monthly contributions from members, revenue from sale of nomination forms for national, state and local government elections, has been illegally withdrawn from the banks and diverted to private pockets.

In addition, the duo alleged that eight vehicles donated to the party either by its local government council chairmen or legislators have either been allocated to “wrong people or they have totally disappeared.”

The financial secretary specifically said he raised the petition “in order to clear my name and conscience,” and therefore, asked the force to investigate some party officials for the alleged illegal dealings.

He said he brought the matter before the chairman several times but that he (Chairman) “always shouted him down, that was why I wrote the petition.”

Apparently acting on the petition, the police last Tuesday invited the state party Chairman, Imam, and reportedly detained him.

Imam, it was learnt slept at the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the police and was still at the police station as at 11a.m. yesterday.

The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, confirmed that “we invited the chairman as we are investigating him based on a petition alleging corruption against him and others.

“We are investigating the matter and shall get to the root of it. We want to find out if there is any substance in the claims of the petitioners.

“The Nigeria Police has the responsibility to investigate any form of criminal complaint from any citizen of the state. That is what we are doing,” he said.