- An aspiring member of the House of Representatives, Sunday Oche has been disqualified by the All Progressives Congress
- Oche's disqualification from the party's primary election was contained in a report submitted to the leadership of the APC by its 3-man panel
- According to the APC panel, Oche, who is aspiring to become a lawmaker of the Federal House of Representatives was disqualified alongside three other aspirants
Out of the numerous petitions standing against 65 aspirants for House of Representatives under the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the appeal panel has disqualified Sunday Oche and three others, from participating in the party's primaries scheduled for Friday, May 27.
This was contained in the report of the three-man appeal panel made up of leaders of the party, dated May 20, and submitted to the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, through the office of the national organizing secretary.
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According to the 19-page report seen by Legit.ng and signed by Chinedu Okonkwo, the chairman; Kate Nnamani, the secretary and Robinson Uwak, a member of the appeal panel, the affected aspirants were disqualified on various offences.
Following party guidelines and principles
The suspension the panel said is in line with the party guidelines and extant laws.
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Oche who seeks to represent the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo federal constituency of Benue state was disqualified due to a pending criminal case against him before the Magistrate Court Bwari, bothering on forgery, perjury and conspiracy.
The report said:
"Having gone through the petition and in view of the weighty allegations therein and exhibits attached, this committee made frantic efforts to reach out to the respondent (Oche Sunday Oche) through numerous phone calls to make himself available before the Committee to clarify the veracity of the said allegations, to no avail."
The committee also said it was able to establish that a criminal trial of Oche was ongoing at the Magistrate Court, Bwari with suit number CR/23/2022 and seriously frown at the refusal of the aspirant to disclose it while filing his nomination forms.
The committee, therefore, resolved that Oche's failure to disclose the pending criminal trial against him while filing his nomination form is a fraudulent act and a total failure of an integrity test expected of any leader seeking to lead the party at any level.
It added that it is an unpardonable breach of the party's guidelines and instructions which is capable of negatively affecting the party's victory in the forthcoming election.
Why Sunday Oche was disqualified for contesting for the House of Representatives under APC
According to the report, the ongoing criminal trial against Oche is one capable of securing him 14-year imprisonment if found guilty and the party cannot be seen to be taking such a costly risk.
On his part, Pascal Chigozie, who seeks to represent Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, was also disqualified on the ground of anti-party activities.
The committee said the petitions from the party's national vice chairman (southeast), Ijeomah Arodiogbu and two other members of APC alluded to the fact that the aspirant had earlier presented himself before the screening committee of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) on April 29.
Another House of Representatives aspirant, Hon Archibong Bassey Joseph from Cross River state, was said to have been disqualified.
After carefully attending to the petition from his brother, Joseph Bassey, alluding that he was the valid owner of the WAEC certificate submitted by the aspirant and that he did not have his express permission to use it.
Efiong Robinson Edumoh from Akwa Ibom, on the other hand, was disqualified by the appeal panel due to a discrepancy in the identity of the aspirant.
Edumoh was said to have filled 'Edumoh, Robinson Effiong' in the expression of interest and nomination forms, whereas, the name appearing on his voter's card reads 'Abianga, Robinson Effiong'.
The committee, while thanking the party leadership for providing the opportunity to serve, also concluded by appealing to members, especially the affected aspirants.
They urged to accept this report as this was done with a clear mind and no fear or favour with no intentions of victimizing anybody. Rather, it was done to uphold the value we share in our dear party.
Forgery: APC lawyers petition screening committee, want Reps aspirant, Oche disqualified
Lawyers within the All Progressives Congress had called on the party to ensure that a House of Representatives aspirant is disqualified.
The call was made by the lawyers in a petition dated May 14 and sent to the national secretariat of the ruling party.
According to the lawyers, if Oche is allowed to fly the flag of the party, they wonder what would become the fate of the APC.
Forgery: CSO reacts as police release detained Benue APC Reps aspirant
The release of an aspiring lawmaker by the police had generated a reaction from a civil society organisation.
The National Liberty and Justice Movement (NLJM) urged the police to ensure that the agency is not intimidated by threats from politicians in Benue.
According to the organisation, the law should be allowed to take its course in the case of forgery and perjury against Engineeer Sunday Oche.