By OBINNA EZUGWU
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress has upheld the verdict of both the screening and appeal committees that Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, stands disqualified from the forthcoming guber election in Edo State.
The Dr Abubakar Fari led Screening Appeal Committee of the Party which validated Obaseki’s disqualification by the Professor Jonathan Ayuba led screening committee presented the report to Oshiomhole.
While Obaseki did not appeal his disqualification for his conviction that he will not get fair treatment, his disqualification was reviewed by the committee to ascertain the level of work done by the appeal committee to arrive at Obaseki’s disqualification.
Fari who submitted his committee report to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party said: “We looked at the grounds on which he was disqualified and I would like to say his disqualification was based on solid grounds.”
The committee had gone further to interrogate the disqualification of the other aspirants and upheld the disqualifications of two aspirants Matthew Iduoriyekewen and Chris Ogiemwonyi.
Fari further said: “This committee finds that although the screening committee disqualified Obaseki on the evidence of the documents he presented, however, the committee did not take into account their contradictions in the various petitions submitted to the committee against Godwin Obaseki.”
“We take the liberty to highlight these discrepancies. “In the affidavit sworn to by Godwin Obaseki before the High Court Abuja, he stated under oath that he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a BA degree in Classical Studies in 1976. However, the University certificate he attached to his nomination form bears 1979 which is a material contradiction.
“We found the screening Committee findings on the other two as justified. In respect of Mathew, the appeal committee in the course of reviewing the report of the screening committee observed that it failed to make a finding and draw a conclusion of his prejudicial finding of filing a legal action against the National Chairman and the party itself. We reached the conclusion that such conduct runs contrary to Article 21 (D) 5 of the party’s 2014 constitution as amended.
“Having failed to exhaust internal mechanisms for seeking redress in the party prior to instituting the action and pursuant to the same provision. As a result of that, we upheld the decision of the screening committee that he should be disqualified and he is so disqualified by the appeal Committee.”
APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who spoke on the ratification said the National Working Committee (NWC) has reviewed the two reports and was satisfied that members of the committees were all united in their decisions.
The three aspirants disqualified are Governor Godwin Obaseki, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Messrs Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
According to Oshiomhole, the party has also approved the expulsion of one of the governorship aspirants Mathew Iduorikemwen and a party member in Edo State, Kenneth Asakomeh, Edo State deputy state chairman of the APC.
Recall that the Prof Jonathan Ayuba led Screening committee had screened out Obaseki because according to it, he was ineligible on account of inconsistencies on his certificate from the Institute of Continuous education and wrongful spelling of his name on his NYSC certificate.