There was a new twist to primaries of the All Progressives Congress in the lmo North Senatorial District, Imo State as candidate declared winner, Hon. Frank Ibezim was allegedly disqualified from contesting the primaries by the Screening Committee.
Chairman of the Screening Committee, Dr. Lawrence Chukwu, made the revelation yesterday at a press briefing in Abuja.
According to him, of the 11 aspirants, only five of them were cleared to contest the primaries.
Among those cleared by the Screening Committee were Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Uchendu Chijioke, Edith Uwajimogu, Bright Nwachukwu and Eze Okoros. For those not cleared were Hon. Mathew Omegara, Achonu Athanasius Nneji, Frank Ibezim, Uchenna Uba, Onuoha Chijioke and Iheanacho Ihim.
The Screening Committee chairman said it was wrong for the party to allow those not cleared to have contested the primaries and one of them declared winner of the election. It would be recalled that the primaries held in Imo State last week produced two candidates.
Senator Ifeanyi Ararume and Hon. Frank Ibezim emerged respectively as winners of the primaries from two different committees. While Ibezim emerged from the primaries conducted by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, Ararume emerged from the one conducted by Umar Gana Nguma.
Presently, the two are laying claim to the Imo North Senatorial ticket as their results were submitted to the Secretary of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Senator John AkpanUdoedehe. On why Ibezim was not cleared by the Screening Committee, Chukwu said that there were discrepancies in the document he submitted to the Committee.
However, it would be recalled that after the Appeal Screening Committee concluded its assignments, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena issued a statement, stating that all aspirants were cleared to contest the primaries. “We are in a democracy.
Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. Public officers cannot afford to act irrationally,” Justice Taiwo said. He, therefore, threatened that should the police fail to produce the detainee in court, he would order the IG to appear in court. “What is the big deal about producing somebody in court?” he queried.
Earlier, Amalaha, who said she was holding the brief of Mr. Wisdom Madaki, had told the court that Opuama had been transferred to Suleja Prison after he was arraigned on Friday at Zuba Upper Area Court on First Information Report with charged bordering on intimidation and obstruction of police officers. She said Opuama had already been arraigned in Zuba Court before the IG was served the Federal High Court order.