The All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Osun state have petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, over an alleged attempt by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to smuggle one of his aides, Mr Seun David Odofin into the race to represent the Obokun/Oriade Federal constituency.
The party chieftains, under the aegis of Concerned APC stakeholders Obokun/Oriade federal constituency, alleged that Odofin neither appeared for screening nor resigned his appointment with the National Assembly as stipulated by the party's constitution and the Electoral Act.
The petition addressed to the National Chairman, was titled, "Petition to disqualify Oluseun David Odofin from contesting in the APC primaries for concealing crucial information from the screening committee, forging one of the documents submitted and consequentially withdrawing the certificate of clearance erroneously issued to him," and signed by Alofe Babatunde and Princess Modupe Adedayo.
The petition obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday was also copied to the National Organizing Secretary, Suleiman M. Argungu; National Legal Adviser, Ahmed El-Maruk and National Deputy Organizing Secretary, Nze Chidi Duru.
They argued that if Odofin was not disqualified, such flagrant disregard for the party's rules could put the party’s interest in jeopardy and lead to the disqualification of the candidate if the opposition party approached the court to seek redress.
They reminded the party it was such infraction and inability to adhere strictly to party rules that led to the sacking of one of its governors, Mr David Lyon in Bayelsa by the Supreme Court on the eve of his swearing-in after his electoral victory.
They advised the party on the need to adhere to the party's rules in order not to render the effort of the party nullity.
The petition partly read, “Furthermore, the said Oluseun David Odofin with the connivance of some enemies of the party devised a way to criminally misrepresent the Screening Committee thereby illegally obtaining the Clearance Certificates.
“The reason for this assertion is that the screening committee did notice the discrepancy in Oluseun David Odofin’s resignation and upon submission, the committee in the constitutional requirements form did at first input NIL in their assessment of Oluseun David Odofin remaining as an employee of the public service within 30 days preceding the date of primary elections, and later it was handwritten that he had resigned and a fraudulent resignation letter was received from him.
“This letter was neither acknowledged by the offices of Clerk of House of Representatives, National Assembly or the Speaker. This suggests that the Committee did at first appropriately assess his employment status and later some words were smuggled in the assessment form upon his connivance with some unscrupulous elements, thereby deceiving Committee into issuing a Clearance Certificate in his name.
“Additionally, we want to state categorically that Oluseun David Odofin did not physically attend the Screening Committee’s Screening exercise which is in breach of our great party’s guideline. It will interest you sir to note that this sole ground of breach of our party’s guidelines renders Oluseun David Odofin incompetent to contest in our Party’s primary election.
“We have a cogent reason to believe that the Chairman and the Secretary of the Screening Committee may have been compromised, intimidated or threatened, reason being that it is crystal clear that apart from the fact that they did find out that Oluseun David Odofin has not properly resigned his current office, they also did not conduct a screening, particularly for him as an aspirant in our party’s primary election. All the reasons stated above are more than enough basis to hold that Oluseun David Odofin did not meet the threshold for qualification to contest at the All Progressive Congress’ Primaries.
“We urge you, sir, to quickly wade into this matter by disqualifying Oluseun David Odofin for the above-stated reasons and ordering an investigation into the issuance of his clearance certificate and consequentially withdraw the Certificate of Clearance issued to him, as we are definite that criminal connivance took place, and also ensuring that everyone involved is made to face the wrath of the law.
“We will also urge you, sir, that upon his disqualification and withdrawal of the Certificate of Clearance wrongly issued to Oluseun David Odofin, he should also be barred from a right to appeal having not participated in the screening exercise.”
“Our aim for raising all our observations and suggesting the disqualification of Oluseun David Odofin is to ensure that the incident afore-cited does not re-occur as it may endanger our party from being appropriately represented at the National Assembly," the petition also read.