…Aggrieved members storm APC secretariat in protest
…False allegations —President of APC Enugu
Less than two months before the general election, aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, Enugu State Chapter, accused state party chairman Ugochukwu Agballah and gubernatorial candidate Uche Nnaji of embezzling more of N1.300 million belonging to The party.
The chairman of the protest group, the Enugu State APC Concerned Members, Alphonsus Ude, made the accusation at the party’s national secretariat on Monday.
Ude, the pioneer vice president of APC, Enugu State, said there had been “impunity, gross misconduct, fraudulent administration, embezzlement of party funds and impunity perpetrated by the state president and gubernatorial candidate.”
Addressing journalists at the end of a peaceful protest, Ude accused the duo of misappropriating the sum of N288 million, proceeds from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for the various elective positions in the 2023 election.
The group further urged the two APC chiefs to account for the sum of $1.5 million (N1.050 billion), an amount slated for Enugu state delegate allocations at the national party convention of 2022.
“These and other related matters, such as the irregular and controversial rise of the new state executive, which are also before the courts, were brought before the national president, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, while he was chairing the APC Reconciliation Committee.
“Our notable state party leaders also paid a protest visit to the national leadership in August 2022, where they filed a petition calling for the removal of Ugochukwu Agballah as state party chairman and the appointment of an interim chairman to save the chapter. state of the party of destruction and misfortune. The signatories and delegation included; Mr. Geofrey Onyeama, Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State; Barr. Eugene Odo, former Speaker of the Enugu State Legislative Assembly; Ambassador Christian Ugwu, Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, among many others.
“Although the president promised to investigate the issues, we can understand that the party’s pressing issues, such as the national convention and presidential primaries, the supervision of the various primary elections, and the party’s preparations for the 2023 general election, which he had to undertake immediately after his election as national president, it must have worried him.
“Unfortunately, all the problems we warned about and more are happening in the party’s Enugu state chapter and we believe that unless urgent and drastic measures are taken, the party faces a disastrous and scandalous exit in the state. state in the next general elections.
“There is also the issue of the sequestration of the funds provided for the preparation of the upcoming January 11, 2023 presidential rally in Enugu and the visit of our presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
“Although the duo of Agballah and Nnaji have already caused serious damage to the party, who in the real sense are not interested in the welfare and victory of the APC, but only in doing good business at the expense of our party; we believe that the national party leadership and our president, Muhammadu Buhari, could still work with the APC leadership and mainstream to remedy the situation before the general election,” Ude said on behalf of the protesters.
They also demanded a change of leadership in the state, saying: “We call for the immediate removal of Agballah as APC Chairman in Enugu State and the appointment of an interim Chairman to lead the party until the 2023 general election.
“We call on national party leaders for Agballah and Nnaji to immediately make available to state delegates to the national convention and presidential primary the appropriations they were awarded totaling approximately $1.5 million.
“We call on APC national leaders to hold Agballah and Nnaji to account immediately for the sum of N283 million given to them for expression of interest and nomination forms for all elective positions in Enugu in the elections. generals of 2023.
“We call on the national party leaders to make Agballah and Nnaji release the funds available for the preparations for the upcoming presidential rally in Enugu.
“As loyal party members, we re-emphasize the need to promptly address these issues raised in our protest letter submitted here to reposition our party for resounding impact in the Enugu State presidential election,” he added.
However, reacting to the development, Fidelis Edeh, Director General of the Uche Nnaji Campaign Organization, urged the party’s national headquarters to confirm whether such funds were released to the party’s state chapter.
“APC should be the one to confirm and not the candidate,” he said.
For his part, Enugu State APC Chairman Agballah described the allegations as false, saying: “We have not received any money yet. The gubernatorial candidate is the person who finances the campaigns,” he said.