The spokesperson to Edo State governor, Crusoe Osagie, has alleged the All Progressives Congress (APC)seven-member screening committee deliberately exempted his boss, Godwin Obaseki, from the screening process.
“The governor arrived early but the screening committee was not ready. He was given the options to either wait for one hour or if he had an appointment to keep, he could go and call them to know if (when) they were ready.
“The governor, who had a Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting, went for the meeting and called when he was done, but the members of the screening committee did not pick their phones,” Mr Osagie alleged in a statement sent to this newspaper Wednesday evening.
It was gathered that Mr Obaseki barely spent up to 15 minutes after his arrival at the party’s secretariat before he left the premises.
Mr Obaseki, shortly after his arrival, reportedly met with the screening committee and asked for permission to attend the NGF meeting but never came back to the venue.
According to the APC’s released order of events, the screening is to span June 10 to 11. This means Mr Obaseki now has only Thursday to attend the party’s screening process or risk being disqualified from the race.
Speaking to this newspaper, the party’s national spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said he was unaware of what transpired between Mr Obaseki and the screening committee.
“They didn’t screen him? But he was there today. Well, we (APC) don’t have anything to say to it because we don’t know what the committee is doing, we don’t have any information; the committee is independent. I’m sure the committee can say whatever happened after they (members) finish, but I sincerely don’t know anything about it,” he told this reporter.
The University of Ibadan (UI), earlier on Wednesday confirmed that Mr Obaseki indeed graduated from the institution after days of speculation over his academic qualifications.
The controversies started Monday after the party posted Mr Obaseki’s credentials, alongside that of other five aspirants battling for the Edo APC governorship ticket at the party’s secretariat for public scrutiny.
The party has slated June 22 for its direct mode of primary in the state while Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, has fixed September 19 for the Edo 2020 Governorship election.
Governor Obaseki and his predecessor in office, Adams Oshiomhole, who now leads the ruling APC, have been engaged in a protracted political battle which now threatens the party’s chances at the polls.