Indications are rife that the All Progressives Congress
(APC) in Kogi state may produce two candidates for the
upcoming November 21 governorship election in the
This is because the appeal panel set up by the national
leadership of the party to review the primary election in
the state, has called for the disqualification of the winner
of the election, Prince Abubakar Audu, who is also the
former governor of the state.
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The panel indicted Audu on a variety of allegations,
bothering on corruption and violation of the provisions of
the constitution of the APC and the guidelines for the
conduct of the primaries.
Recall that other APC aspirants in the primaries had
challenged Audu’s victory, while the runners up at the
election, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, had written a petition
condemning the exercise.
Chaired by Dr Sam Sam Jaja, with Mr Ahmad El-Marzuq
and Mr Tunde Imolehin serving as secretary and member
respectively, the appeal panel in an 11-page report,
called for the nullification of Audu’s election and asked
the party to replace him with Alhaji Bello.
The panel made reference to the case o of Hope
Uzodinma vs Senator Osita Izunaso, where the court
insisted that ” a political party must obey its
In his petition to the party, Bello had accused Audu of not
resigning as a member of the BoT of the party before
contesting in the primary, as stipulated in the constitution
of the party in Article (I) iii which states that: “Any such
party office holder or officer of the party who is interested
in contesting for an elective position within or at a
general election shall resign 30 days before the date of
the nomination or party primary for that office he is
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His argument is that “By virtue of his membership of the
BoT pursuant to Article 14 (III) (e) of the 2014 Guidelines
for the Nomination of Candidates for Public Office, such
party officers are not allowed to vote as statutory
According to a source close to the panel members, “Part
of the findings of the report was that there was video
evidence showing Audu casting his vote at the primary
election. The appeal committee had already
recommended that Audu be disqualified while the runner
up in the primary election (Yahaya Bello) be presented to
INEC as the APC gubernatorial candidate for the state
2015 governorship election.”
Some members of the party are already suggesting that
the election should be shifted by a few weeks to allow
the APC address the issues arising from the panel’s
“In the event Audu is retained, Bello is not trusted to be
willing to mobilise for him due to the loud cry for power
shift by his people in Kogi Central. If Audu is substituted
for Bello you, guess is as good as mine. That it has
become clear to President Muhammadu Buhari and the
party that the anti-corruption stance of the new
government and its renewed commitment to rule of law
will be jeopardized if it doesn’t do something about the
candidacy of Audu.
“Yahaya Bello in his petition also raised the allegations
of embezzlement of N11 billion and the court case
involving the former governor instituted by the EFCC.
Giving President Buhari’s staunch anti-corruption stance
and APC change mantra of the APC, it is left to be seen if
such a seminal report can be swept under the carpet,” a
source told Thisday.
READ ALSO : Kogi Poll: Audu Reacts To N11B Refund If
Meanwhile, the acting national chairman of the Peoples
Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, has called on
President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to the
temptation of abusing national institutions during the
Kogi elections .
The state governor, Idris Wada who is also the PDP’s
candidate in the polls had also pleaded with President
Muhammadu Buahri not to interfere with November 21
gubernatorial election .
In a related development, there seems to be a high level
of preparation on the part of security agencies as the
inspector general of police, Solomon Arase, vowed to
deploy seven police officers to each of the poling units
across the state in order to check electoral violence
during the polls.