The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Concress (APC) on Friday explained its reason for upholding the result of the party’s recent Governorship primary election in Ondo State.
By the decision, the NWC rejected a recommendation of the party’s Governorship Election Appeal Committee that the exercise be done afresh.
The primary election produced former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN as the party’s governorship candidate.
The exrcise has, however, been sharply criticised by Akeredolu’s co-contestants who alleged fraud.
The NWC, in a statement signed by the party’s National Secretary Mai Mala Buni, also faulted a newspaper report that the executive was overruled by the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun.
It also denied media reports that sic of the 11-member NWC voted in support of a fresh primary election while five voted against, allegedly prompting Chief Oyegun to sneak out of the meeting and submit Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The statement read: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is drawn to a false report “Oyegun overrules NWC on Ondo Appeal Panel’s report” published in Nation Newspaper of Friday, September 23, 2016.
“For the records, the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) decision to reject the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report was taken on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in executive session after careful and exhaustive deliberation. The minutes and rejection was confirmed by the NWC on Thursday, September 22, 2016.
“The NWC in its four-point resolution rejected the Appeal Committee’s recommendation on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed. The NWC observed that the Appeal Committee contradicted itself when it admitted that the Primary Election Committee substantially complied with the rules guiding the process but still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the Primary election.
“The NWC in its four-point resolution faulted the failure of the Appeal Committee to invite the National Secretariat to authenticate or otherwise the source of the disputed delegates list as the custodian. Also, the Appeal Committee did not to invite the Chairman or members of the Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Committee to clarify on the allegation of manipulation on the accreditation process. It rather relied on unsubstantiated evidence(s) to recommend the nullification of the Primary.
“The NWC equally observed a serious contradiction in the Appeal Committee’s report in respect of the number of the accredited delegates. Whereas the Primary Election Committee’s report indicated that 2,774 delegates were accredited, the Appeal Committee’s report erroneously recorded it as those who voted in the election, thereby creating a false impression of over voting in the exercise. The actual total number of votes cast was 2,754, according to Primary Election Committee’s report.
“The issue of fresh primaries did not arise as NWC had already rejected the Appeal Committee’s report in view of the stated flaws and upheld the election. In any case, the Election was time barred. By the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all governorship primary and issues relating to it ended on September 19, 2016.
“Also, voting on the issue did not arise in view of the NWC’s rejection of the Appeal Committee’s report.”