The screening committee of the All Progressives Congress APC for Imo North Senatorial by-election has kicked against the choice of Ibezim Chukwuma Frank as candidate of the party, saying it never cleared him to participate in the exercise.
Chairman of the committee, Dr Lawrence Chukwu disclosed this while speaking with journalists Monday in Abuja.
He said; “Unfortunately, with utmost dismay, we noticed that our report which cleared five aspirants and have six not cleared for very cogent and verifiable reasons were jettisoned. Both the aspirants cleared and not cleared were allowed to run for the Senatorial primaries, embarrassingly, one of the aspirants not cleared is being touted as having emerged as one of the winners of the said controversial primary election.
For record purposes, the eleven Senatorial Aspirants screened were;l Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Hon. Matthew Omegara, Achonu Nneji, Uchendu Chijioke, Ibezim Frank, Edith Uwajimogu, Uchennea Onyeiwu-Uba, Eze Okoro, Bright Nwachukwu, Onuoha Chijioke and Iheanacho Ihim.
“Our Committee cleared five aspirants namely Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Uchendu Chijioke, Edith Uwajimogu, Bright Nwachukwu and Eze Joachim Okoro. Six other aspirants were disqualified for not meeting the basic requirements and they are Hon. Matthew Omegara, Achonu Nneji, Ibezim Frank, Uchenna Uba, Onuoha Chijioke and Iheanacho Ihim.
“Section 3(f) of the guidelines for the nomination of candidates stipulates that only aspirants fully cleared by the party shall be eligible to stand election at the party’s primaries. Section 3(k) also clearly stated that all aspirants must show knowledge of the party’s manifestos and programs and must commit themselves to the full implementation of the party’s goals and objectives. Not losing sight of section 3(L) which states that all aspirants are to submit evidence of membership of the party for at least one year except a waiver is given.
“Therefore in compliance with section 11 of the same guideline stipulating the roles and responsibilities of the screening committee, we have done our job sincerely, honestly and diligently without fear or favour but we have observed that Mr. Frank Ibezim who is purported to be one of the possible flag bearers of our party, was not cleared to contest the Imo North Senatorial primary elections on the following grounds; He did not submit any originals of his educational qualification certificates or properly certified true copies for citing.
“He presented a statutory declaration of age deposed to by one Emmanuel Ibezim, who happens to be his elder brother. The statutory age declaration was not signed by the declarant, which rendered the document invalid.
“He submitted another affidavit stating the loss of his academic qualification certificates which was not signed by the deponent, this also rendered the document invalid.
“The said unsigned affidavit did not have a police extract in support, to show that he reported to the law enforcement authority”.