Posted by Tony Akowe | 17 June 2018 | 2,083 times
The Screening Appeals Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention has said that 19 aspirants for various party offices were screened out of the race and will have their cases reviewed by the appeals based on the merit of their case.
The committee also said that the appeals committee received 18 petitions from party members, either against their disqualification or against some of the aspirants who were screened by the committee.
Chairman of the Appeals Sub-committee and Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha told newsmen during one of the sittings of the committee on Saturday that the committee has not received any petition against any of those aspiring for the offices of the National Chairman and National Secretary.
He disclosed that the committee hopes to submit its final report to the convention committee by Monday, adding that aside petitions against some of the aspirants, there was one general petition demanding for justice.
It said that the petitioner wanted to know of members of the National Working Committee can be judge in their own case having presided over the various various congresses.
Okorocha said “Our committee which is the sub-committee established by the national convention committee has the responsibility to entertain petitions and appeal arising from the screening committee report for all offices of the party.’
“We have been sitting for a number of days now and we have received several petitions. We have made it public that anyone who is petitioning or being petitioned against should make available documents to support his claim or to defend himself and to make it available by midday on Saturday.
“As you can see, we have started receiving petitions and appeals. Right now, we have seven aspirants here. We have resolved to give everyone a fair hearing so that Justice, equity and fairness will prevail so that we prevent crisis in the party.
“We are carefully selected Nigerians from all works of life from different states that constitute the membership of this committee. We have two days to do this job and we will be submitting our report by Monday barely any other reason. We are here to work all day and all night and take our decision.
“The screening appeal is the final appeal in this case. After this appeal committee, the next appeal will be after election appeal which will come after the convention. We are unmindful of the fact that the convention committee will need time to start printing of ballot papers for the convention and so, we will ensure that we complete this job on time.
“So far, we have about 18 petitions before us and we have 19 persons that did not make it at the screening level. These are the things we are looking to see the merit or otherwise of their claims. We are going to use the screening committee report as a major guide to what we are doing. As soon as we are through with this, we are going to make it known to the public those who have succeeded at the appeals committee level.”
On those who were petitioned against, he said “of course we have petitions against all other positions except that if the National Chairman and National Secretary. However, there is a general petition as to whether members of the NWC can be judge in their own case having supervised the congresses and now coming to present themselves for election. We are also looking at that.”
On whether the committee has power to disqualify those already screened and qualified, he said “yes, if you don’t make the appeal screening, you are disqualified because there is no other appeal after this.”
“If the appeals committee upholds the position of the screening on the 19 persons, it means they have been disqualified from contesting the election. If there is anybody who has been screened and there is a petition against him, we have the power to uphold his qualification or disqualify him based on the merits of the petition.” (The Nation)
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