Chairman, Guber Candidate Fingered As N1.3bn Missing Fund Tears Enugu APC Apart

By NewsBits

Less than one month to the conduct of the general elections, the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been hit by crisis concerning purported fraud of over N1.3 billion, involving the chairman of the party, Ugochukwu Agballah and the governorship candidate, Uche Nnaji.

Making the revelations in Abuja when aggrieved members of the party took a protest to the national secretariat of the party, leader of the protesters, Comrade Adolphus Ude and chairman, Concerned Members of Enugu State APC, said they were there to vent their concerns.Ude who doubles as chairman, Mainstream Enugu APC and pioneer deputy chairman, APC, Enugu State, said there had been “impunity, gross misconducts, fraudulent administration, embezzlement of party funds, and impunity being perpetrated by the state chairman and the governorship candidate.”

The aggrieved members said the duo have misappropriated the sum of N283 million meant for the expression of interest and nomination forms to ensure that the party fields candidates for the governorship, and all the National Assembly and State Assembly seats in Enugu State to shore our fortunes and also ensure that the party secures at least 25% of votes cast in the 2023 presidential election in the State.

They further alleged the embezzlement of about $1.5 million (N1.050 billion) being allowances for Enugu State delegates in the 2022 national convention and presidential election. Speaking further, he said: “These and related matters such as the irregular and controversial emergence of the new state executive, which are also before the courts, were laid before the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, while he was the chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee.

“Our notable party leaders in the state were also on a protest visit to the national leadership in August 2022 where they submitted a petition calling for the removal of Ugochukwu Agballah as the State party chairman and appointment of a Caretaker Chairman to save the state chapter of the party from destruction and disgrace. The signatories and delegation included Mr. Geoffery Onyeama, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State; Barr. Eugene Odo, former Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly; Ambassador Christian Ugwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Poland, among many others.

“Although the chairman promised to look into the issues, we can understand that pressing party matters such as the national convention and presidential primary, overseeing the various primary elections and the party’s preparations for the 2023 general election, which he had to undertake immediately after his election as the national chairman must have preoccupied him.

“Unfortunately, all the issues we forewarned against, and more are happening in the Enugu State chapter of the party, and we believe that unless urgent and drastic steps are taken, the party faces a disastrous and scandalous outing in the state in the forthcoming general election.

“There is also the issue of hijack of the funds provided for preparation for the forthcoming January 11, 2023, presidential rally in Enugu and visit by our presidential candidate, Awiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.

“Although serious damage has already been done to the party by the duo of Agballah and Nnaji, who in the real sense are not interested in the wellbeing and victory of the APC, but only in making brisk business at the expense of our party, we believe that the national leadership of the party; our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu; his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima; and our President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, could still work with the leaders and mainstream of the APC to remedy the situation before the general election.

“We are calling for the immediate removal of Agballah as the chairman of the APC in Enugu State and the appointment of a Caretaker Chairman to pilot the party through the 2023 general election. We call on the national leadership of the party to cause Agballah and Nnaji to immediately make available to the state’s delegates to the national convention and presidential primary election the allowances totaling about $1.5 million given to them.

“We call on the national leadership of the APC to cause Agballah and Nnaji to immediately account for the sum of N283 million released to them for the expression of interest and nomination forms for all the elective offices in Enugu in the 2023 general election.

“We call on the national leadership of the party to cause Agballah and Nnaji to release the funds made available for the preparations for the forthcoming presidential rally in Enugu.

“As loyal party members, we re-emphasise the need to address with dispatch these issues raised in our protest letter submitted here in order to reposition our party for resounding impact in the presidential election in the Enugu State.”

Fidelis Edeh, Director-General of Nwakaibie Uche Nnaji Campaign Organisation, told newsmen that the national headquarters of APC should confirm if such funds were released.

“APC should be the one to confirm and not the candidate,” he said.

Enugu State APC chairman, Nnaji, said the claims made are untrue, insisting that they were yet to be mobilised financially by the national leadership.

“We’re yet to get any money. The governorship candidate is the person funding the campaigns,” he said.

Source: The Sun

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