Posted by Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Abuja | 7 August 2018 | 1,221 times
There is increasing apprehension within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over an alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to force some of its key members to defect to the ruling party.
As facts emerged at the weekend that the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has perfected plans to formally defect to the APC, a competent source at the PDP said the new plot is to intimidate some of the lawmakers with EFCC charges to get them to sign on for APC and to help it retain majority in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The PDP source, who did not want his name to be mentioned, however, stated that the party is mobilizing action against the APC tactics, adding that apart from Akpabio, no other opposition lawmaker will likely succumb to such intimidation.
“There were interventions by the party at all levels to find out what the issues are with Akpabio but he didn’t state his reasons. We know he has EFCC case and perhaps that is what is driving him. For now, it appeared he has made up his mind to go,” PDP said.
Asked what the leadership of the party may do if the Senator finally defects, the source said the PDP has several options, including taking legal action to declare his seat vacant since there is no faction in the party.
On the issue of which of the two parties now commands a majority in the Senate, the source said although PDP believes it has taken over majority seats, the actual state of affairs in the upper legislative chamber will be determined when the Senate reconvenes plenary after its recess.
He also said the moves by angered APC lawmakers to go to court to seek reconvening of the National Assembly will amount to mere academic exercise as no court will entertain such case.
There were speculations that the defection was delayed because he was negotiating for some “favourable terms” for himself and his political supporters in the state.
It was also gathered that the senator was asking for the position of the Senate president and also that he should be made the APC leader in the state and the party political structure handed over to him.
•Excerpted from THISDAY report
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