-2 Others to Follow Footsteps
From Chuks Collins, Awka
One of the frontline governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Nze Akachukwu Sullivan Nwankpo, who was recently disqualified alongside four others by the party’s adhoc Governorship screening panel has eventually appealed against the verdict.
His appeal documents, according to his media spokesman Chuma Harris was filed before the party Monday, June 14,2021.
Nwankpo had in his accompanying letter to the party leadership said that the reversal of his disqualification would ensure justice and fair play to all.
He said that the move would also be in line with the philosophy of the party, which is anchored on equity and fairness.
He noted that reasons given for his disqualification was debatable, pointing out therefore that, “…I have fulfilled all the requirements, both membership, good percentage of nominators, including financial obligations.” he said.
Nwankpo added that it was absurd how such decision was taken against him. He said that he had spent his time and resources working for a strong and virile APGA in the state and has carried the ‘cross’ of the party in Anambra.
“I am in dismay as to the reason for my non-clearance having satisfied all statutory requirements of our party constitution, Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
He requested the APGA national chairman to reverse the injustice.
But in reaction to the news of their disqualification by the party’s screening panel a member of the House of Representatives, Chief Chuma Umeoji and Nonso Smart Okafor of the Anambra state Assembly urged for calm in their campaign structures.
Umeoji didn’t mince words that he would appeal the screening panel’s decision, while Smart Okafor was said to be taking stock of the situation with a view to appealing the verdict too.
This is coming barely a week to the party’s scheduled date for its governorship primaries on June 23, 2021 in Awka.
Nwankpo, Umeoji and Okafor were among the five governorship aspirants disqualified by the screening committee for sundry reasons. Others include Mr Cater Dike Umeoduagu and Ozoka Ifeanyi Odera.
So far, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo and Okwudili Ezenwankwo, Damian Okolo and ThankGod Ibeh were cleared by the Committee and have been covering more grounds sensitizing the party delegates to vote them at the coming primary.
While Nwankpo was disqualified for being less than eighteen months oldas a member of the party, hence was required to have applied and secured a waiver from the National Workin*Committee of the party.
He was also accused of being nominated by less than the 2/3 spread of members of the party in the 21 Councils of the state.
Umeoji, a two time member of the National Assembly and former chair of Aguata Council area of the state was disqualified for “defiance and insubordination to the party authority and supremacy, which cast a dark shadow of doubt on the genuineness and credibility of his APGA membership”
He was consequently “considered as an unsuitable APGA member to participate in the governorship primary election at the moment.” The screening committee also expressed “doubtful financial status of his nominators as APGA members”.
They also declared as invalid, his certificate of declaration of age.
Umeoji was equally found guilty of “gross alterations and mutilation of his Nomination form which contains an affidavit under oath, contrary to Sec 117(2) of the Evidence Act.