The All Progressive Congress (APC) has cleared four Kogi governorship aspirants for its primaries on Thursday, August 29.. Main contender and sitting Governor, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and three others were cleared.
But one of the Audu sons who lost out has been spitting fire and threatening to head for the courts if the injustice done to him is not reversed. He has warned of a replay of the Rivers APC experience, an allusion to the internal wranglings in the party that led to an easy win for Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja has given the go-ahead to the ruling party in the State to conduct indiŕect primaries.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo threw out a suit seeking to stop the use of indirect primaries in an application by a rival factional executive. He said the application was statute barred.
The suit was instituted against the APC and the Abdullahi Bello-led factional executive that is controlled by Governor Bello.
Having delivered this ruling, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled on the second suit: “I do not intend to waste judicial time on this suit FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2019 in view of the ruling on the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/581/2018 read a few minutes ago, dismissing the suit for being caught by statute of limitation as provided under Section 285(10) of the Constitution.”
According to him, “it will be pointless to consider the proprietary of this suit” when its foundational suit had been dismissed.
“The court, not being an academic institution, does not engage in academic exercise,” the judge ruled.
“This suit has been spent and its resolution has become unnecessary in view of my earlier judgment. Answering the questions will bear no consequence on the dispute between the parties.
“I therefore have no choice other than to dismiss the suit in its entirety and I accordingly dismiss it.”
On television on Monday night, Mustapha Mona Audu, one of the late Abubakar Audu siblings in the race, flashed evidence to show he filed required documents, which he said was one of the reasons adduced for his non-clearance.
Another Audu, Yahaya Odidi, an uncle to the siblings, alongside nine others were not cleared. Abubakar Audu was a former Governor of Kogi State, on the verge of winning an election four years ago, before he suddenly died.
The other three aspirants cleared by the seven-member committee led by Hope Uzodinma at the party’s national secretariat are Hassan Abdullahi, Ekele Aishat Blessing and Abubakar Bashir.
Those not cleared are another Audu son, Mohammed; former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Usman Jubril; former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) boss, Sani Lulu; prominent journalist, Yakubu Mohammed; Professor Seidu Onailo; Hadiza Ibrahim; Bashir Gegu; and Tunde Irukera.
Not done with accusing the ruling party of fraud, Mona Audu denied allegations of collecting money from Governor Yahaya Bello to buy his nomination form, adding that the country’s anti-graft agencies were invited to check his accounts for money trails. He said the accounts of members of the APC screening should also be investigated.
“Every time the party called that they need money, I have always been giving them even though the party has never issued a receipt,” he said.
He accused the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, of doing the bidding of Gov. Bello instead of ensuring a level playing ground for the aspirants.
“I have been trying to reach our party chairman on several occasions through calls and text messages but he has never responded only to bee seen gallivanting around with Yahaya Bello,” he said.
“The chairman of the screening committee personally told me before the screening that his job is to remove 12 people but ended up removing 14 aspirants.”
“It will be the Rivers situation. What happened in Rivers was that they went to court and the court told them to hold on till the court decided but they went ahead with the primary which made the court decide that APC will not have a candidate in the last governorship election in the state.
“If you want to beat someone in the game, you need to beat them squarely not by cheating other aspirants after we have paid tens of millions for this. They collected our money with no single orientation or meeting,” he added.