APC Crisis: APC Members Protest, Accuse Chairman of Embezzling N1.3bn

APC Crisis: APC Members Protest, Accuse Chairman of Embezzling N1.3bn
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The chairman of the protest group, the Concerned Members of Enugu State APC, Alphonsus Ude, made the allegation at the party’s national secretariat on Monday.

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Enugu State Chapter, Ugochukwu Agballah and the governorship candidate of the party in the state, Uche Nnaji have been accused of stealing over N1.3 billion belonging to the party.

Punch reported that the accusation was made by a member of the party and chairman of the protest group, the Concerned Members of Enugu State APC, Alphonsus Ude at the party’s national secretariat on Monday.

Ude, the pioneer deputy chairman, APC, Enugu State, said there had been “impunity, gross misconduct, fraudulent administration, embezzlement of party funds and impunity being perpetrated by the state chairman and the governorship candidate.”

Addressing newsmen at the end of a peaceful protest, Ude accused the duo of misappropriating the sum of N288 million, being proceeds from the sales of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms into the various elective offices in the 2023 polls.

The group further urged the two APC chieftains to account for the sum of $1.5 million (N1.050 billion), an amount slated for for the allowances of Enugu State delegates in the 2022 national convention of the party

“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. Geofrey 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 primaries, 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 hijacking of the funds provided for preparation for the forthcoming 11th January 2023 presidential rally in Enugu and visit by our presidential candidate, Bola 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, and our President, Muhammadu Buhari, could still work with the leaders and mainstream of the APC 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 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 elections.

“We call on the national leadership of the party to cause Agballah and Nnaji to immediately make available to the state delegates of 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 a resounding impact in the presidential election in Enugu State,” he added.

Reacting to the development however, Fidelis Edeh, Director-General of Uche Nnaji Campaign Organisation, urged the national headquarters of the party to confirm if such funds were released to the state chapter of the party.

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

On his part, the Enugu State APC chairman, Agballah, described the allegations as untrue, saying, “we’re yet to get any money. The governorship candidate is the person funding the campaigns,” he said.


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