There was palpable tension at the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday as aspirants for the Senate and House of Representatives elections stormed the secretariat to have a knowledge of the outcome of the screening and probably the list of candidates sent to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the party.
The APC Director of Organisation, Alhaji Abubakar Kari, who led some officials of the party to submit the list to INEC was seen at about 2p.m. cuddling the list of candidates which has been kept secret. New Telegraph gathered that the former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the Senator representing Rivers East, Magnus Abe, and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani lost out in the tussle for the governorship ticket of their states. Others who also lost out in the governorship race in accordance with the committee report include brother to the wife of the President (Aisha Buhari), Dr. Mahmoud Halilu; President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Bala Bobboi Kaigama; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Ikechi Emenike of Abia State.
It was, however, gathered that many members of the party across the country who were not sure of whether the decision of the appeal panel was in their favour have been making frantic calls to the secretariat to know their faith, while some other aspirants came in person. Among those that stormed the party secretariat were Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta) and three senatorial aspirants from Niger State who won the first senatorial primaries before it was cancelled. However, they could not achieve much in terms of information as no national officer was handy. It was learnt that several of the petitions submitted to the Appeal Panel headed by Prof. Oseriehem Osunbor were either not entertained or dismissed for lacking in substance.
A source at the secretariat revealed that the two petitions against the governorship primaries in Rivers by Senator Abe and Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs were not upheld, while the only petition from Delta submitted by Prof. Pat Utomi was dismissed and tagged “overtaken by event”.
Also in Borno State, there were four petitions against the conduct of the governorship primary, with the committee recommending that a consensus option be explored to be driven by the National Chairman in consultation with the President. For the petitions against the conduct of the Senate and House of Representatives primaries it was gathered that they were not upheld for various reasons ranging from lack of merit, lack of proof to lack of time for fresh primaries while no reasons were adduced for not upholding some others. Similarly, some petitions were upheld and some of the petitioners declared as candidates of the party either because they actually won the primaries and were substituted or for other reasons ranging from lack of clearance and others that were not adduced by the committee. A summary of the report indicated that all petitions against the Senate and House of Representatives primaries were rejected by the panel, the same position with Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross Rivers states.
The report also showed that in Delta State, eight petitions were upheld for winning the primaries and having their names substituted, while seven were rejected, while the three petitions against the conduct of the governorship primary in Akwa Ibom State was rejected alongside eight House of Representatives seat, while five were upheld. From Kaduna, six petitions were treated for the senatorial primaries with five of them rejected while one (Shehu Sani) was upheld. Nine of the 10 petitions received for the House of Representatives were rejected. Similarly, two petitions each were received against the governorship primaries in Sokoto and Jigawa and were rejected, while three House of Representatives and three Senatorial petitions were rejected from the two states.
In Kebbi and Katsina states, the petitions were also rejected while the two against the conduct of the governorship primary were referred to the National Working Committee (NWC) for decision, while the petitions from Kano were either upheld or referred to the party national secretariat for action. From Taraba State, it was gathered that 10 petitions were received against the conduct of the governorship primary, four against the Senate primary and nine against the House of Representatives primaries, with all petitions rejected. A similar situation was witnessed in Adamawa and Bauchi states, with only one Senatorial and one House of Representatives seat in Bauchi upheld.