James Sowole in Abeokuta
The Governorship candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Ogun State, Dr. Jackie Adunni Kassim, has raised the alarm alleging plan by some members of the party to forge her signature, in order to indicate that she had withdrawn from the 2023 governorship race.
The candidate’s alarm, was contained in a petition she addressed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Kassim in the petition dated August 12, 2022, signed by her counsel, Okaide Akinkugbe, alleged that some party officers have started mounting pressure on her to step down her ambition for a particular candidate after her emergence as the standard-bearer of the party.
The candidate in the petition, stated that her refusal to yield to the pressure to withdraw for another person, however, informed the decision of those she described as “unscrupulous elements” within the state chapter of NNPP to consider the option forging her signature on the withdrawal form.
The petition reads in part: “It has come to the attention of our client that some unscrupulous elements within the party, who have formed an unholy alliance and who are still bent on achieving their sinister motives have fashioned out a plan to forward to your commission, a letter of withdrawal purportedly written by our client with a forged signature of our client endorsing same.
“In view of this, we have our client’s instructions to inform your commission that she has not submitted any letter of withdrawal from the gubernatorial race to the party and neither has she instructed the party to transmit any of such letter to your commission as required by the relevant provisions of the amended Electoral Act”.
The Nigerian businesswoman and philanthropist in the petition, copies of which she made available to the Ogun State office of the commission as well as the national headquarters of NNPP, however, urged INEC to treat as forgery, any correspondence from the party indicating that she has withdrawn from the race.
Speaking in an interview with journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, the candidate declared she remained the NNPP gubernatorial candidat in the state explained that candidate for Ogun State.
She said: “I will resist any attempt by any person or group of person to substitute my name as the gubernatorial candidate of the NNPP for Ogun State.
“I have already petitioned INEC and the national headquarters of the NNPP, that some people were already planning to forge my signature in a letter indicating my withdrawal from the race.
“I remain the NNPP Gubernatorial candidate for Ogun State come 2023 Election.”