[UPDATE] Edo 2020: APC screening committee disqualifies Obaseki, two others

Ahead of the June 22 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State to pick its candidate for the September election, the party’s seven-man screening committee led by Professor Jonathan Ayuba has disqualified the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki from the process.

Also declared ineligible to contest for the ticket were Matthew Iduoriyekemwen and Chris Ogiemwonyi.

The committee however cleared Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Pius Odubu and Osaro Obazee for the primary.

Presenting its report to the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee, Chairman of the Screening Committee, Professor Ayuba claimed his team could not verify the authenticity of Governor Obaseki’s National Youth Service Corps discharged certificate as his name was not properly written.

The team also claimed that the Higher School Leaving Certificate presented by the embattled Edo State governor was defective.

Matthew Iduoriyekemwen was axed for instituting a court case against the APC national chairman which the panel noted was an affront on the party’s constitution.

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The panel cited inconsistency in the names on the documents presented to the screening committee by Chris Ogiemwonyi.

Professor Ayuba said his committee did a thorough job without the influence of any party chieftain.

He said: “We are staking our integrity. Our report is conclusive. Every member signed and has agreed with what we have decided at the committee level. This is essential because we want to be judged by what we have done and what we are presenting.

“We were thorough in the manner in which we conducted the exercise. We recorded live the interaction with each of the aspirants. The unedited clip is what we are giving as part of our report. We want to be judged by what we have done and not by what a third party says or by rumour.

“The methodology we used is clear. It was evidence-based. All we did was an interaction.

“We screened six aspirants, three were eligible to contest and three were deemed ineligible to participate.”

Receiving the report, Oshiomhole thanked the committee for its diligence while urging those disqualified to present their case before the appeal panel.

But in a swift reaction, the Edo State governor who spoke through his media aide, Crusoe Osagie, said he has been vindicated by his earlier stance that he would not get justice in a process supervised by his estranged godfather, Adams Oshiomhole.

Governor Obaseki vowed not to appear before the appeal panel to seek redress.

The statement read in part: “We have watched the mockery of democratic process, which Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is administering and superintending over in our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC). It has been an unfortunate, disheartening and dreadful spectacle.

“We had initially asserted that going by the open display and enthronement of illegality by one man in the party that comprises several organs and eminent personalities, there is no way that Governor Godwin Obaseki would get a fair assessment in the run-up to the nomination of candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election.

“It is unfortunate that this open show of shame, illegality and travesty of justice is the brand of democracy which Comrade Oshiomhole has reduced the APC into. The situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice.

“We have therefore decided that it would be effort in futility to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process of the APC will be, especially when Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.

“We wish Oshiomhole luck in his maladministration of the party and trust that the Almighty will help our country to find the path to true liberty, freedom and justice.
“We call on all party members and the teeming supporters of Governor Obaseki to remain calm and await further directives.”

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