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I left APC in 2019, Onochie tells Senate

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Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, on Thursday denied her membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) three times.

This was during her grilling by senators to determine her suitability for appointment as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Onochie, who appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC, said she parted ways with the APC and stopped her volunteer work with the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) in 2019.

She said those opposed to her nomination were after her because of her “due process stance” and belief in the rule of law.

President Muhammad Buhari had, on October 12, 2020, nominated Onochie (Delta), Professor Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Professor Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (Northcentral) and Dr. Baba Bila (Northeast) as National Commissioners of INEC.

The presidential aide said she was aware of petitions against her, especially those about her membership of the APC and the fact that someone from her state was already on INEC’s board.

She admitted being part of the Buhari campaign organisation in 2015 before her appointment as Special Assistant on Social Media.

Onochie also admitted to having sworn to an affidavit at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja that she was a member of the APC.

The presidential aide claimed she stopped being a member of the party after the 2019 polls.

She said, “I have learnt over the years to stand with the constitution and due process but not on partisanship or sentiments.

“Since 2019, I have not had anything to do with any political organisation, including Buhari support groups. When APC was doing re-validation of party members, I did not take part in the exercise.

“As I’m sitting down here, I’m not a member of any political party in this country. I’ve no partisanship in my blood.”

On the petitions urging the Senate not to clear her for the job, Onochie said, “I have seen many petitions against my nomination, not only from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but also from some APC members.

“I’m not partisan; they know. It is about the law. No one has any reason to fear for my nomination as INEC commissioner representing Delta.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m Madam Due Process. That’s why all the attacks. I follow due process, I follow the law.”

 

But an affidavit she swore to at an FCT High Court, dated June 30, 2021, and attached to one of the petitions against her, contradicted her claims.

 

Read Also: PDP storms NASS, protests Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner

 

 

She deposed to the affidavit at the High Court of the FCT in a case involving her as plaintiff and Emeka Ugwuonye (defendant).

 

Paragraph three of Onochie’s witness statement on oath reads: “That I am also engaged in active politics and a member of Neighbourhood Watch and has also contested the local government elections under the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom.

“I am also a member of the APC and a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation.”

Onochie further told the committee that Mrs May Agbamuche, a serving INEC National Commissioner from Delta State, is actually representing Cross River on the board of the electoral umpire.

Opposition Senators Ifeanyi Ubah, Seriake Dickson, Istifanus Gyang and Ike Ekeweremadu, separately asked her again to confirm her membership of the APC.

Onochie, three times denied her membership of the ruling APC, telling the committee that she stopped being a card-carrying member of the party in 2019 (two years ago) as soon as Buhari was re-elected for a second term in office.

But a suggestion by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele that Onochie be put on oath after she denied her membership of the APC was supported by Senator Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South).

Ekewremadu and Dickson opposed the move, saying the Senate Rules did not support any nominee being placed on oath during screening.

Committee Chairman Kabiru Gaya overruled the suggestion to avoid breaching the provisions of the Senate Standings Orders on screening of nominees.

Gaya said the panel’s report would be submitted to the Senate at plenary next week for consideration and possible approval after he adjourned sitting.

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Ogun APC crisis: Abiodun, Amosun factions in sharing formula talk

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Strong indications have emerged on Saturday that the two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State may adopt a sharing formula on the party executive members in the wake of the parallel congresses held by the warring groups.

Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, are battling over the control of the party in the state.

The secretary of the APC appeal panel on the local government congress for the state, Chucks Chinwenba, gave the hint while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta.

Chinwenba was, however, silent on how the positions will be shared between the two factions.

“On Friday, we held meeting with the party chairman and the party executive, the idea was to discuss with them and find out if there are complaints.

Anybody who has any reservation should please bury the hatchet, which they have expressed by not sending any petition.

“There is a sharing formula that was made known to us: 60-40 or 80-20. It is working and that is why we have relative peace,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the chairman of the appeal panel, Segun Ojo, disclosed that the committee had held “peace meeting” with members of the party.

Daily Trust

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You’re just an attention seeker – PDP tells Umahi

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, described Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State as an attention seeker, floating in imaginary presidential interests.

A statement on Saturday by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party said, since Governor Umahi, out of his personal ambition, joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), while still sitting on the mandate of the PDP in Ebonyi State, he has become pathetically confused and disoriented, having realized that he joined a “one chance” bus, with strange and deceitful co-travelers.

According to him, It is clear that Governor Umahi is now politically floating and seeks to use an unwarranted attack on governors elected on the platform of the PDP to actualize his desperation for public relevance.

He said the PDP finds it very pathetic that, having mortgaged his conscience, over his self-confessed love for the oppressive administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Umahi is manifestly accommodating the daily incidences of killings, wanton destruction of property, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism going on in Ebonyi state and the nation at large under the APC.

“The PDP charges Governor Umahi to show his claimed commitment to the South-east by jettisoning his personal ambition and summoning the courage to call out President Buhari for his divisiveness, injustice, incompetence, treasury looting and insecurity that have become the hallmark of his failed administration.

“On zoning, our party urges Governor Umahi to focus on his fizzling APC and leave the PDP alone. By now, Governor Umahi ought to know that the PDP is a party of due process and inclusiveness and that all interests within our party will collectively and peacefully take decision on zoning when the time comes.,” he said.

According to him, Governor Umahi is expected to take his stampeding agenda on zoning to his APC but he would not do so because he knows that Nigerians will vote out the APC and usher in the PDP in 2023 so as to bring an end to a life of misery, economic hardship, mass killings, terrorism and divisiveness brought to our nation by the APC.

Daily Post

 

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2023: Yahaya Bello, Fani-Kayode’s campaign posters emerge

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A fresh presidential campaign poster of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, has emerged online.

The poster has Bello as president and Femi Fani-Kayode, former Aviation Minister as his running mate.

DAILY POST observed that the campaign poster has the All Progressives Congress logo engraved on it.

The poster carried the message: “Yahaya and Femi 2023.”

Bello is believed to be nursing a presidential ambition.

His campaign posters had flooded some states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Amid claims, Bello is yet to declare his ambition to run for the presidency in 2023.

Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode on Thursday officially joined the APC.

Fani-Kayode’s defection became public knowledge after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala-Buni, at the State House.

DAILY POST’s effort to reach Bello’s Chief Press Secretary failed as he was not picking his calls and did not respond to the text messages sent to him.

Daily Post

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