…Appeal panel receives petitions against Izunazo, others
The All Progressives Congress (APC) appeal committee headed by the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that about 19 aspirants seeking various positions have been disqualified by the Screening panel.
Okorocha added that 18 persons have also petitioned the committee against the NWC members re-contesting national positions of the party.
According to Okorocha, apart from office of the National Chairman and the National Secretary, there are petitions against other positions which include that of the National Organizing Secretary and the National Women Leader.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday during the panel’s sitting, Okorocha said if his committee upholds the position of the screening committee on the 19 persons, “it means they have been disqualified from contesting the election.”
Okorocha also said, “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.
“As you can see, we have started receiving petitions and appeals. Right now, we have seven aspirants here. We have resolved to give everyone a fair hearing so that justice, equity and fairness will prevail so as to prevent crisis in the party.
We are carefully selected Nigerians from all walks of life from different states that constitute membership of this committee.
“We have two days to do this job and we will be submitting our report by Monday. We are here to work all day and all night and take our decision. The screening appeal is the final appeal in this case.
After this appeal committee, the next appeal will be after election appeal which will come after the convention. We are not unmindful of the fact that the convention committee will need time to start printing of ballot papers for the convention and so, we will ensure that we complete this job on time.
“So far, we have about 18 petitions before us and we have 19 persons that did not make it at the screening level. These are the things we are looking to see the merit or otherwise of their claims.
We are going to use the screening committee 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 committee level”.
On those who were petitioned against, Okorocha said,” Of course, we have petitions against all other positions except that of the National Chairman and National Secretary.
However, there is 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”.
On whether the committee has power to disqualify those already screened and qualified, Okorocha said, “Yes, if you don’t make the appeal screening, then you are disqualified because there is no other appeal after this”.