The All Progressives Congress (APC), has denounced as untrue, a report in The Nation, a newspaper owned by embattled member of the party, Bola Tinubu, purporting that it’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, had overruled National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over the outcome of the Ondo governorship primary election.
Making its position known in a press statement signed by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, APC said the publication was maliciously false and done in bad faith to deceive members of the party as report of the Primary Election Appeal Committee was already rejected by the NWC and remains so.
The party explained that report of the appeal committee was contradictory and as such its recommendation for a cancellation of the primary, in which Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), roundly defeated a candidate said to be anointed by Tinubu, was rejected by the NWC.
APC said its national chairman has not jettisoned the NWC position.
In the statement titled “Re: 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report”, APC stated that: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is drawn to a false report “Oyegun overrules NWC on Ondo Appeal Panel’s report” published in The Nation Newspaper of Friday, September 23, 2016.
“For the records, the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) decision to reject the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report was taken on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in executive session after careful and exhaustive deliberation. The minutes and rejection was confirmed by the NWC on Thursday, September 22, 2016.
“The NWC in its four-point resolution rejected the Appeal Committee’s recommendation on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed. The NWC observed that the Appeal Committee contradicted itself when it admitted that the Primary Election Committee substantially complied with the rules guiding the process but still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the Primary election.
“The NWC in its four-point resolution faulted the failure of the Appeal Committee to invite the National Secretariat to authenticate or otherwise the source of the disputed delegates list as the custodian. Also, the Appeal Committee did not to invite the Chairman or members of the Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Committee to clarify on the allegation of manipulation on the accreditation process. It rather relied on unsubstantiated evidence(s) to recommend the nullification of the Primary.
“The NWC equally observed a serious contradiction in the Appeal Committee’s report in respect of the number of the accredited delegates. Whereas the Primary Election Committee’s report indicated that 2,774 delegates were accredited, the Appeal Committee’s report erroneously recorded it as those who voted in the election, thereby creating a false impression of over voting in the exercise. The actual total number of votes cast was 2,754, according to Primary Election Committee’s report.
“The issue of fresh primaries did not arise as NWC had already rejected the Appeal Committee’s report in view of the stated flaws and upheld the election. In any case, the Election was time barred. “By the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all governorship primary and issues relating to it ended on September 19, 2016.
“Also, voting on the issue did not arise in view of the NWC’s rejection of the Appeal Committee’s report.”