A head of the June 23 National Convention of the All Progressives Congress( APC), the party says it has Screened out 19 aspirants from the large list of contestants for various offices its National Working Committee (NWC).
Owelle Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo State and chairman of the 2018 APC Convention Appeals Subcommittee disclosed this on Saturday during a chat with journalists, saying the committee has so far received 18 Petitions from various individuals and groups.
He said the 19 were screened out by the Screening subcommittee, headed by governor Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina State, assuring however that the committee will ensure justice is done to all aspirants.
“Our Committee which is the subcommittee established by the national convention committee has the responsibility to entertain Petitions and Appeals arising from the Screening Committee report for all offices of the party. We have been sitting for a number of days now and 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 or her claim or to defend himself and to make it available by midday today (Saturday),” he said
He gave insight into the number of aspirants so far shut out by the Screening Committee pointing out that the Appeals body has powers to uphold or upturn the decision of the Appeals committee should it have justifiable reason to so do.
“So far we have about 18 Petitions before us and we have 19 persons that did not make at the Screening level. These are the things we looking to see the merit or otherwise of their claims. We are going to use the Screening committee’s 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 level” he said .
“Aside individual Petitions against aspirants, he said that there was a Petition against current members of the outgoing NWC of the party which he said bothers on the fairness to participate in the process they are judges.
“We have Petitions against all other positions except those of the national chairman and national secretary of the party. However there’s 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” Okorocha said.
On whether the committee has power to disqualify those already screened and qualified, he said, “Yes, if you don’t meet the appeal screening, You are disqualified because there is no other appeal after this.
If the appeals committee upholds the position of the screening committee 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 power to uphold his qualification or disqualify him based on the merits of the petition.”