The Chairman of the Governor Peter Obi-led faction of the All Progressives Grand â€¨Alliance (APGA), Mr. Maxi Okwu, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to listen to the protest by the embattled Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, over the conduct of the national convention.
Okwu in a counter-protest letter to the commission dated April 24, urged INEC to continue to recognise and uphold the national convention of his faction pending the final determination by court of competent jurisdiction on the matter.
“I am on notice of a letter purported to have been written by the erstwhile National Chairman of the APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, to your commission dated April 15, published in some national newspapers on April 23, urging you to set aside the party’s national convention held April 8 in Awka, Anambra State which your commission monitored pursuant to section 85 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“Umeh has through his surrogates sued INEC on the party’s National Convention in Awka. He cannot at the same time speak from both sides of his mouth by addressing a petition to the commission on the same issue.
“I, therefore, urge you to totally ignore and disregard Umeh as the commission’s hand is now strongly tied in the matter. It is trite that INEC cannot unilaterally set aside the outcome of a party’s national convention it duly monitored vide a letter dated April 15, reference number INEC/DPPM&L/APGA/003/T/87, signed by Secretary to the Commission, Abdullahi A. Kaugama,” he said.
Speaking to THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday evening, Umeh said Okwu had no basis to urge the commission not to look into allegations of fraud made against the organisers of the convention.
Umeh alleged that out of the list of 36 state chairmen of the party that signed the notices for the convention, 21 of them were not authentic chairmen, adding that INEC had the right to investigate it and to nullify the convention if found wanting.
“Okwu is not in a position to tell INEC not to investigate allegations of fraud in raise with regard to the organisation of the party’s convention. In the letter we wrote to INEC, we said Okwu does not have right to convene such convention,” he said.
He said notices for the congresses and convention was fraudulently donne
“The allegation of fraud is not part of the matter before the court. Let Okwu go and prove to INEC that those party chairmen that signed his convention notice were authentic, “ he said.