The APC National Working Committee has set up a panel to probe the allegation of certificate fogery some members of the paty in Edo brought against state Gov. Godwin Obaseki at an Abuja high court last week.
According to Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, the Bayelsa experience has taught the party to do its due diligence.
“The screening is not a formality and we expect you to be very meticulous in every material in particular to protect our party so that it would not be said that we did not learn anything from Bayelsa,” he said while inaugurating members of screening and appeal panels on Tuesday in Abuja.
But many Nigerians see the allegations and the party’s decision as continuation of the war of attrition between Oshiomhole who is the predecessor and god father of the governor.
Oshiomhole himself echoed the sentiment of the party men that dragged Obaseki to court because of the certificate.
“Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out: How did he pass senate screening of those days?” he charged the panel.
“I’m aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass screening.”
According to him, at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), the school ran terminal not semester programme, and final screening was in the third year before the final year.
“How come the UI allowed him then? Did he do a remedial? Which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in especially in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after.’’
The members of the screening committee are Prof Jonathan Ayuba (Chairman), Prof Agbo Madaki, Ibrahim Zailani, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed “Binani, Dr Jane- Frances Agbu, Fort Dike while Dr Rabe Nasir will serve as secretary.
On the appeal committee are Dr Abubakar Fari as Chairman, and Daniel Bwala as Secretary. Other members of the committee are Prof. Sadeeque Abba, Gbenga Olubajo, Mohammed Idris and Esther Bepeh.
Oshiomhole and Obaseki have been at loggerheads for more than a year. The superiority fight has defied party conciliatory efforts, peacemakers like billionaire Aliko Dangote and traditional rulers.
Obaseki, being the state party leader, froze Oshiomhole out of the party at the state level–going as fa as suspending the national chairman at the ward level and asking him to get a pass from the state government before enteing Edo.
It appears Oshiomhole is taking his own pound of flesh now. The NWC, whee Oshiomhole is the big honcho, manages electoral affairs at the state level.
If anybody is dissatisfied with the screening committee’s recommendations, said Oshiomhole, he or she will file an appeal and it will be forwarded to the appeal committee.
“The NWC is like the Supeme Court,” he said.
But the governor, through his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, challenged Oshiomhole to go and confirm the authenticity of his certificate at the UI, citing how active Obaseki has been as an alumnus of the varsity.
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