…Six Petitions filed against Gov
…C’ttee screens him, five others
By Omeiza Ajayi
Ahead of its June 22 governorship primary election in Edo state, the All Progressives Congress APC on Wednesday screened its six aspirants with the screening committee receiving six petitions against the governor and one against Mr Mathew Iduoriyekemwe.
The governor who came out of the screening room around 10 pm expressed misgivings at the operations of the committee, saying with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole dictating affairs of the party, he knows he cannot get justice.
He said; “The last time I came here, I asked that Oshiomhole recuse himself from the process in the interest of peace and justice. But as a party man, I have had to go through the screening like everybody else. Since he is the judge and the jury in this matter, I will just wait for the outcome of the screening. I have given them all the information they need; the controversial certificate from the University of Ibadan has been tendered.
“Like I said, as a party man I have engine through the screening process but I do not believe that I will get justice because Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an interested party in the Edo process. One of the questions that were asked was why did I issue a gazette that will prevent the party from performing direct elections in Edo. That did I not see it as an anti-party activity? I just felt that if we put politics above the lives of the people of Edo State, we may be missing the point”.
Multiple party sources who confirmed the number of petitions against the duo, however, declined to reveal the identities of the petitioners or the contents of the petition.
Obaseki had stormed the national secretariat with his supporters at about 1 pm, but no sooner had he entered the secretariat than he rushed back into his car and left the premises.
The four aspirants who were screened aside Obaseki were former Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, former Minister of State, Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Hon. Osaro Obazee. While Odubu left the secretariat at 5:30 pm, Ize-Iyamu left an hour later. The report of the committee is expected to be submitted to the National Working Committee NWC of the party on completion of its assignment.
Addressing journalists before going into the closed-door screening, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba who explained that the responsibility of the committee was to verify the documents submitted by the aspirants, added that his team is not a quasi-judicial body and therefore could not pass any judgment.
He said; “We took this challenge not because it is easy. It is complex and we are putting our integrity at stake. We are not a judicial committee and we are not investigating. Ours is to verify and verification of whatever is submitted to us is based on evidence and also facts. So, that is what we are going to be dealing with.
“Ours is to do our assignment, ours is not to pass judgement because we are not a court of law, Ours is to make recommendations. And I urge you to wait for the official release of such recommendations by the party.
“We are going to interact with all those that indicated interests and if there is any issue, we will raise it with them. There is a difference between a judicial commission because we cannot make a pronouncement because we are not a court of law. The document before us is the same document we are going to present to all those that have purchased the forms. So our interaction is based on that.”
Obaseki returns for Screening
At about 7:59 pm, Gov. Obaseki, however, returned to the national secretariat of the APC to be screened to participate in the June 22 Governorship Primary Election of the party.
He was accompanied by his associates including Sen. Domingo Obende.
Minutes before he returned to the Secretariat, the governor had raised an alarm about alleged attempts by the committee not to screen him.
At about 9:15 pm, when Mr Iduoriyekemwe arrived at the party secretariat for screening.