The All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants, Sani Sha’aban, in Kaduna State, has petitioned INEC over the conduct of the delegates’ congress which allegedly produced 2,619 delegates.
Recall that the Appeal Committee for the Ad hoc Delegates’ Congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State, on Saturday, upheld the congress while declaring the exercise as successful.
The appeal committee, led by Mrs Tinuke Gbadejo-Ogunrinde, had said a total of 1,275 delegates were elected for the local and state levels each while 69 national delegates were unanimously elected, bringing the number to 2,619 delegates in all.
She added that the exercise was done by consensus in accordance with the APC’s elections guidelines and constitution, stating that no complaint was received before, during or after the congresses.
However, Sha’aban, an in-law to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), through the Director-General, Sani Sha’aban Campaign Organisation, Chief Danladi Ephraim, kicked against the entire exercise.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna on Monday, Ephraim said no delegate primary election that produced the 2,619 delegates was held anywhere across the state.
He added that contrary to the panel’s assertion that there was no complaint or petition, the Sani Sha’aban Campaign Organisation submitted a petition which “the committee refused to collect.”
According to him, the results of the delegate election were merely fabricated, thus disenfranchising thousands of the APC members in the state of their rights to become delegates as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
Although Ephraim noted that the campaign outfit would explore all internal mechanism as law abiding members of the party for amicable resolution of the matter, it had submitted a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state to the effect that “no delegates primaries election to produce delegates were ever held.”
He also urged the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National leadership of the APC to wade into the matter before it got out of hand.
He said, “This statement is a direct response to the misleading and erroneous press release by the APC delegates primaries election appeal committee, given some hours ago in which it is claimed; that delegates primaries elections to produce delegates in Kaduna State were held and; that there was no petition that was submitted by any person, or campaign organisation, during the purported two-day sitting of the appeal committee.
“We categorically deny, before you and before the whole world, that no such delegates primaries election to produce delegates were ever held in the whole of Kaduna State.
“We have submitted a petition to the resident electoral commissioner of INEC in Kaduna State to the effect that no delegates primaries election to produce delegates were ever held, a copy of which is being made available to you, ladies and gentlemen.
“Also, we have here before you a petition by our campaign organisation about the non-conduct of any delegates primaries election to produce the purported delegates in the state. The petition was not collected by the appeal committee.
“We have here our petition challenging the conduct of any delegates primaries election within Kaduna State. Any such list of delegates is a contrivance of agents of the state government.
“The appeal committee refused to collect the petition from us. We, categorically state, that there was no delegates election in Kaduna state APC. This, to us, is a travesty of justice and fair play. The whole world should know this. We urge the party headquarters of the APC to take note and to take corrective actions in the interest of justice as we are in a democracy and not a dictatorship.”
Meanwhile, the petition signed by the Director-General of the Sani Sha’aban Campaign Organisation, Danladi Ephraim, dated May 19 and received by the INEC on the May 20, prayed that “in order to cure this manifest illegality and avoid its negative consequences on the APC nomination processes in Kaduna State, we humbly pray that as an independent umpire in election matters in the state, we earnestly urge that you note and put it on record that the APC in Kaduna State failed to comply with one of the requisite constituents of the Electoral Act 2022 as contained in the party’s guideline in its choice of indirect primaries for the nomination of its candidates for the 2023 general election.”