Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has now been screened by the panel constituted by the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to screen the six governorship aspirants of the party in Edo State.
The panel had earlier failed to screen the governor when he arrived earlier forcing him to depart the premises for a prescheduled Nigeria Governors’ Forum meeting and would eventually release a statement stating that the committee had refused to pick his call to ascertain when he would be screened.
Obaseki, who returned to the Abuja national secretariat of the party around 8.pm was eventually alongside another aspirant, Mr. Mathew Iduoriyekemwe, who arrived at a few minutes past 9.pm local time. The governor is seeking re-election for a second and final term.
The panel received six petitions against the governor and one against Iduoriyekemwe. The identity of the petitioners remained unclear as at press time.
After his screening, the governor told reporters that it was clear that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the party, with whom he has engaged in a protracted political battle for supremacy in Edo State, had compromised the process and that he was certain he would not get justice.
“The last time I came here, I asked that Oshiomhole recuse himself from the process in the interest of peace and justice. But as a party man, I have had to go through the screening like everybody else. Since he is the judge and the jury in this matter, I will just wait for the outcome of the screening. I have given them all the information they need; the controversial certificate from the University of Ibadan has been tendered.
“Like I said, as a party man I have engaged through the screening process but I do not believe that I will get justice because Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an interested party in the Edo process. One of the questions that were asked was why did I issue a gazette that will prevent the party from performing direct elections in Edo. That did I not see it as an anti-party activity? I just felt that if we put politics above the lives of the people of Edo State, then we may be missing the point”.
The University of Ibadan had earlier released a statement affirming that Obaseki indeed earned his academic degree from the premier institution.
The screening committee had earlier on Wednesday screened Hon. Osaro Obazee, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Dr. Pius Odubu and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the man Oshiomhole is scheming to make the flagbearer of the party.
The Committee is expected to submit its report later this Today or Friday. Addressing journalists before going into the closed-door screening, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba said “We took this challenge not because it is easy. It is complex and we are putting our integrity at stake. We are not a judicial committee and we are not investigating. Ours is to verify and verification of whatever is submitted to us is based on evidence and also facts. So, that is what we are going to be dealing with.
“Ours is to do our assignment, ours is not to pass judgment because we are not a court of law, ours is to make recommendations. And I urge you to wait for the official release of such recommendations by the party.
“We are going to interact with all those that indicated interests and if there is any issue, we will raise it with them. There is a difference between a judicial commission. After all, we cannot make a pronouncement because we are not a court of law. The document before us is the same document we are going to present to all those that have purchased the forms. So our interaction is based on that.”