ONDO GOVERNORSHIP: APC panel screens Aiyedatiwa, Akinterinwa, 14 others today

  • NWC to inaugurate appeal committee in Abuja
  • Vetting committee dismisses certificate forgery allegation against Aiyedatiwa

The All Progressives Congress will commence the screening of the 16 Ondo State governorship aspirants today.

The two-day screening, earlier scheduled to commence on Thursday, was postponed because of the extension of the Eid-el Fitr holiday by the Federal Government.

The party is also expected to set up another five-man Screening Appeal Committee by the National Working Committee at 9 am at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on the same day.

The Governorship Screening Committee will be chaired by a former Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Senator Joshua Lidani, while a former member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola, has been selected as his secretary.

Other members of the screening committee include Pastor Jones Erue, High Chief Second Bakor, Magaret Duru, Prof. Chukwudi Ledirick and Abdul Rahim Balogun.

The five-man Screening Appeal Committee, on the other hand, will be chaired by the senator representing Kogi Central District, Oseni Yakubu, and a former member of the House of Representatives, who has been appointed as Secretary.

Other members of the appeal committee include Emmanuel Ekeh, Pious Idele and Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.

It was gathered that all the Ondo governorship aspirants had been duly informed about the latest development and the need to arrive on time for the exercise.

“The screening exercise is to commence immediately after the inauguration of the screening committee and the screening appeal committee billed to hold by 9 am.

“We have equally notified all the aspirants when to appear before the screening committee,” a source noted.

The 16 aspirants who bought the nomination forms included Governor Lucky Ayiedatiwa; business mogul and senator representing Ondo South district, Jimoh Ibrahim; notable APC chieftain, Olusola Oke; former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile; mechanical engineer, Dr Funmi Waheed-Adekojo; and APC National Vice Chairman (South West), Isaac Kekemeke.

Others are Akinfolarin Samuel, Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Okunjimi Odimayo, Adewale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema and Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide, Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyanjan and Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

Meanwhile, the APC Vetting Committee in Ondo State has cleared all the 16 governorship aspirants.

The vetting committee, headed by Prof. Abdulkarim Kana, also dismisses the allegation of certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa.

The forgery allegation was raised by another aspirant Gbenga Edema.

The report made available to journalists on Tuesday read, “Based on the findings of the vetting process, the committee recommends that all aspirants are cleared to participate in the screening exercises.

“The vetting committee is confident that the vetting process has been conducted with integrity and transparency.

“The committee’s recommendations are aimed at ensuring that only qualified and credible aspirants are presented for the party primaries, in line with the party’s commitment to internal democracy and good governance.”

Edema had in the petition pleaded with the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, and the National Working Committee to investigate the certificate forgery allegation levelled against Aiyedatiwa.

Edema said, “You will recall that the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the year 2019 annulled the election of David Lyon and his running mate as the duly elected Governor and Deputy Governor respectively on the grounds of eligibility. The Supreme Court found as a fact that the running mate, Senator Degi-Eremienyo presented a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“It is against this background that I wrote a letter to the chairman of the credentials/document vetting committee of the APC which the party set up, to critically look at the credentials which His Excellency, Lucky Ayedatiwa submitted.”

However, the governor, through his lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) debunked the claim, saying Aiyedatiwa sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and his results were genuine.

In a letter, Adegboruwa disclosed that some conscious steps had been taken to confirm the allegations against the governor, which later turned out to be untrue.