Edo Gubernatorial Election: NWC approves decision to disqualify Obaseki


The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has ahead of the June 22 Edo Governorship Primary Election sealed the fate of Gov. Godwin Obaseki by approving the decisions of the Screening Committee as well as the Appeal Committee which had earlier disqualified him from the race.

The Prof. Jonathan Ayuba-led Screening Committee had earlier on Friday disqualified Mr Obaseki, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen. Presenting the report of the committee to the National Working Committee NWC of the party in Abuja, Prof. Ayuba cited discrepancies in the names and certificates of the governor. For Ogiemwonyi, the committee also cited discrepancies in his names while it disqualified Iduoriyekemwen on the grounds that he instituted a suit against the party without exhausting all mechanisms of settlement in line with the APC Constitution.

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman of the party, made the announcement on Saturday night shortly after a meeting of the NWC.

The party’s Appeal Committee had moments before Oshiomhole’s announcement submitted its own report to the NWC. In its report, the committee upheld Friday’s decision of the party’s Screening Committee which disqualified Mr Obaseki from the race.

The committee held that, “It is inconceivable that the same University will award two certificates with separate dates for the same graduate. We also find it difficult to vouch for the authenticity of his NYSC certificate, there is no indication as to where he served.”

Led by Prof. Abubakar Fari, other members of the appeal committee were Prof. Sadeeque Abba, Barr. Gbenga Olubajo, Mohammed Idris, Esther Bepeh and Barr. Daniel Bwala who served as Secretary.
Presenting the report, Fari said, “We looked at the grounds on which he was disqualified and I would like to say his disqualification was based on solid grounds. 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.”

He further said, “The other candidate whose case we reviewed was that of Governor Godwin Obaseki. 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.

He continued by saying that, “However, the University certificate he attached to his nomination form bears 1979 which is a material contradiction.”

The governor had immediately disclosed his resolve not to appeal the decision of the screening committee. In spite of that, the appeal committee said evidence before it made it to uphold the decision of the screening panel.

Addressing journalists, Oshiomhole said the NWC reviewed the reports of the screening and appeal committees, adding that the decision of both committees were unanimous as none of the members had a dissenting opinion.
Oshiomhole specifically faulted the governor for his wilful refusal to inaugurate 14 members-elect of the State House of Assembly.

The party chairman had at the inauguration of the committees described them as the High Court and Appeal Court respectively, stating that the NWC as the Supreme Court has the final say on the reports of both committees.

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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