The All Progressives Congress (APC) screening committee for the Edo State governorship election has disqualified Governor Godwin Obaseki from contesting the forthcoming party primary.
Mr Obaseki’s disqualification, which happened on Friday, climaxed a long-run battle between the governor and Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman who is a former governor of Edo State.
Days before his disqualification, there was confusion about the genuineness of Mr Obaseki’s university certificate, until the University of Ibadan came out to confirm that he studied classics in the school and graduated in 1979 with a Second Class Honours, Lower Division.
A source in the Edo State Government House hinted PREMIUM TIMES earlier on Friday that the APC at Abuja would announce Mr Obaseki’s disqualification “in the next few hours”.
“It is unfortunate that this open show of shame, illegality and travesty of justice is the brand of democracy which Comrade Oshiomhole has reduced the APC into,” Governor Obaseki’s spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, said in a statement forwarded to PREMIUM TIMES before the formal announcement of the disqualification.
“The situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice,” Mr Osagie added.
“We have watched the mockery of democratic process, which Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is administering and superintending over in our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC). It has been an unfortunate, disheartening and dreadful spectacle.
“We had initially asserted that going by the open display and enthronement of illegality by one man in the party that comprises several organs and eminent personalities, there is no way that Governor Godwin Obaseki would get a fair assessment in the run-up to the nomination of candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election.”
Continuing, Mr Osagie said, “We have, therefore, decided that it would be effort in futility to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process of the APC will be, especially when Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.
“We wish Oshiomhole well in his maladministration of the party and trust that the Almighty will help our country to find the path to true liberty, freedom and justice.”
Mr Obaseki’s opponent, Osagie-Ize Iyamu, who was cleared by the committee, released a statement Friday giving more details about why Mr Obaseki was disqualified.
The statement by his spokesperson, John Maiyaki, said Mr Obaseki was deemed ineligible by the screening committee “over multiple inconsistencies in his presented academic certificates, including a Higher School Leaving Certificate the Governor claimed to have obtained from an Institute of Continuing Education in Benin City, Edo State.”
“The certificate, according to the committee, is unknown to the Nigerian education system and the Governor also admitted during the screening that he never received the certificate,” the statement said.
“Furthermore, his NYSC certificate indicated the name ‘Obasek’, and while the Committee acknowledged that this could be an error on the part of the issuing body, it flagged the Governor’s failure to address the problem for years and thus solidified doubts on its authenticity. Governor Godwin Obaseki also failed to supply additional documents solicited as proof of its claims.”
The statement also said Chris Ogiemwonyi was also ruled ineligible over inconsistencies in the name contained in his submitted academic certificates. Another disqualified aspirant was Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.
Pius Odubu and Osaro Obaze, however, passed the screening and joined Mr Ize-Iyamu as the aspirants ruled eligible to participate in the primary election.
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