[TR News] Ondo primary: APC’s appeal panel begins sitting in Abuja

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The All Progressives Congress’ Ondo Governorship Primary Appeal Committee has started sitting after confirming the receipt of two petitions as of Tuesday.

A member of the committee, Alhaji Musa Umar, confirmed this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

He explained that the committee began sitting in line with the mandate given to it by the party.

Although an unconfirmed report claimed that the committee had received seven petitions, Umar could only confirm two.

He, however, said there were some petitions submitted to the party’s national secretariat which the committee was waiting to receive.

Umar said, “We have started sitting. I can only confirm two petitions which we received yesterday (Tuesday) but we understand there are others at the (party) secretariat which we are expecting will be brought for us to consider.”

He, however, declined to give further details because according to him, the committee’s work is still ongoing.

Earlier, some APC leaders from Ondo State had in a petition sent to the Appeal Committee called for the cancellation of the primary and the conduct of a fresh one.

Signatories to the petitions include the Chairman of the APC in Ondo Central Senatorial District, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe; his counterpart from Ondo East, Mr. Akintunde Samuel and that of Ondo West, Mr. Adeola Ademulegun.

The petitioners had alleged that the delegates’ list was manipulated in favour of one of the candidates.

The petition partly read, “A strange delegate list was introduced on the night of the election after everybody had gone to sleep only for us to wake up in the morning of the election to see a massively corrupted delegates’ list.

“Names of 47 per cent of delegates in Ondo East were either deleted or substituted with people who are unknown to the party as executive members.

“Some of the injected names were not even aware of the development and so did not come for the election.

“In all, a total number of 64 names were injected into the delegates’ list. The names were unknown to the party.

“For instance, somebody who never contested any election and some even unknown to the party suddenly became ward chairmen in wards four, six, two and seven of the Ondo East Local Government.

Reacting to the development, the APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Isunaso, said, “Nobody can react now. There is an appeal panel and party officials would make statement on the primary without the appeal (committee) concluding its work.

“Anything l say now can jeopardise the committee’s work. Let the appeal finish their work, then we can talk.”

Meanwhile, one of the aspirants of the APC in Ondo State, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, has said the alleged error on the delegates’ list used for the last Saturday’s primary had nothing to do with the victory of the winner of the election, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Not satisfied with the result of the primary, two of the aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke and Dr. Segun Abraham as well as some other leaders of the party rejected the result on the grounds that the delegates’ list used for the exercise was allegedly doctored.

Abayomi, however, noted that Oke had a right of appeal which he could exercise but saying his claim on the delegates’ lists was unjustifiable and unnecessary.

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Rancy Jay

Rancy Jay

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