Ebonyi 2023: 27 aspirants threaten to sue APC over disqualification

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From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki

House of Assembly aspirants under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State have alleged plots by the screening committee to disqualify them from participating in the forthcoming primary election of the party.

The aspirants numbering 27, made the allegation at a press conference in Abakaliki on Saturday.

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They alleged that the Chairman of the House of Assembly Screening Committee in the state, Mr Ideato Ideato, had told them shortly after the screening exercise in Abakaliki that they were not cleared on the ground that they did not pay party dues.

The 27 aspirants stated that they had duly paid their party dues and the party also issued them with receipts of payment.

The spokesperson of the group, Mr Chukwu Orji, from Ivo Constituency, alleged that Mr Ideato Ideato is in connivance with Governor David Umahi to destroy APC in Ebonyi.

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Orji further alleged that Governor Umahi was also secretly working with the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure the defeat of APC during the election.

He called on the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, to call the leader of the party in the state, Chief David Umahi, to order to avoid a repeat of what happened to Zamfara state in 2019 in Ebonyi.

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The aspirants vowed to sue the party if they are disqualified from contesting the primary election.

“The Chairman of the Screening Committee, one Ideato Ideato, had shortly after our screening in Abakaliki, sent private text messages to 27 of us, saying that we were not cleared because we didn’t pay party dues.

“We wish to state that we duly paid our party dues and receipts issued to us by the party and we are with the receipts

“There is no reason to disqualify us from contesting the election. We are aware that the Governor already had 24 aspirants he wants to impose on the party but he should allow us to contest and fail if he thinks that his preferred aspirants are more popular than us.

“We call on the National Chairman of the party to intervene and ensure that the right thing is done because we have a strong conviction that Governor Umahi is working with PDP against APC victory ahead of 2023.

“If the party allows Ideato Ideato and Governor David Umahi to screen is out of the contest unduly, we shall be left with no option than to seek redress in court.

“We state unequivocally that we shall challenge our disqualification should the committee be allowed to go ahead to disqualify us,” Orji said.

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