The National Working Committee (NWC) of the governing of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday explained the reasons why it rejected the recommendation of the Ondo State 2016 Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee which called for the cancellation of the poll that produced Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s candidate.
The party, in a release issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, dismissed the insinuation that its National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun overruled the NWC on Ondo Appeal Panel’s report.
“For the records, the party’s NWC decision to reject the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report was taken on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in executive session after careful and exhaustive deliberation. The minutes and rejection was confirmed by the NWC on Thursday, September 22, 2016.
“The NWC, in its four-point resolution, rejected the Appeal Committee’s recommendation on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed. The NWC observed that the Appeal Committee contradicted itself when it admitted that the Primary Election Committee substantially complied with the rules guiding the process but still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the Primary election,” the release stated.
The NWC, in its four-point resolution, faulted the failure of the Appeal Committee to invite the National Secretariat to either authenticate or reject the source of the disputed delegates list as the custodian.
The statement added that the Appeal Committee did not invite the Chairman or members of the Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Committee to clarify the allegation of manipulation on the accreditation process.
The party said the Appeal Committee rather relied on unsubstantiated evidence(s) to recommend the nullification of the Primary.
The NWC equally observed a serious contradiction in the Appeal Committee’s report in respect of the number of the accredited delegates.
“Whereas the Primary Election Committee’s report indicated that 2,774 delegates were accredited, the Appeal Committee’s report erroneously recorded it as those who voted in the election, thereby creating a false impression of over voting in the exercise. The actual total number of votes cast was 2,754, according to Primary Election Committee’s report,” the release further read.
The party, therefore, stressed that the issue of fresh primaries did not arise since the NWC had already rejected the Appeal Committee’s report in view of the stated flaws and upheld the election.
It further explained that the election was even time barred, saying by the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all governorship primary and issues relating to it ended on September 19, 2016.
The party added that voting on the issue did not arise in view of the NWC’s rejection of the Appeal Committee’s report.
Akeredolu had defeated 23 other APC governorship aspirants, including the so-called preferred candidate of the party’s national leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, at an election conducted by Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru-led committee in Akure.