The Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, has been challenged to give account of how the N4 billion naira election funds purportedly released to the party in the State was appropriated.
The Forum of All Progressive Congress (APC) 2019 Election Aspirants and Candidates made the demand on Friday in a statement issued in Asaba, the state capital.
This is coming at the backdrop of the renewed crisis rocking the Prophet Jones Ode Erue-led State Executive Committee of the party which recently suspended the deputy state chairman, Elvis Ayamanor and seven others.
Recalls that the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party had recently met to recant the purported suspension of the party members, saying that the purported suspension was null and void since it doesn’t have the backing of either the SEC or SWC and was done in violation of Articles 20 and 21 of the Party’s Constitution, particularly Article 21(D) vi which guarantees an officer the right to fair hearing.
The SWC therefore had called for Erue’s resignation over alleged financial impropriety of party’s funds and maladministration.
The party’s SWC while addressing newsmen through the state Secretary, Comrade Chidi Okonji, said that the call for Erue’s resignation followed his alleged persistent refused to give account or provide information on all funds that accrued to the party overtime.
Erue was also being accused of highhandedness, reckless running of the party as personal estate, his penchant for pitching leaders of the party against each others, among others.
The party’s SWC alleged that monies collected from sales of forms for Local Government elections, General elections, grants from the National office, donations and gifts to the party have all gone unaccounted for by the Erue-led SEC of the party.
But in a counter statement, the Forum of All Progressive Congress (APC) 2019 Election Aspirants and Candidates, allegedly accused the governorship candidate of the party, Ogboru of misappropriation of the party funds, particularly the election monies released prior to the 2019 general election.
The group alleged that Ogboru purportedly used part of the funds to purchase cars for two State Executive members of the party and other cronies without recourse to the leadership and other stakeholders of the party in the State and therefore demanded for an explanation.
They also claimed of how they have been inundated with complaints on how Chief Ogboru allegedly unilaterally spent election monies released to him in the past including the one of the last election.
The forum also allegedly indicted the State Secretary of the party, Comrade Chidi Okonji, calling for his immediate resignation alongside Sir A.S Mene, the state Organizing Secretary of the party for their ignoble role in the purported financial scandal.
The statement was jointly signed by Rt. Hon. Halims Ogheneochuko Agoda, High Chief Michael Johnny, Hon. Charles Olisa Ph.D, Hon. Harvest Igben, Barr. Matthew Omonade, Hon. Chief Hope Abijor, Barr. Edafe Emakpor (AKA Obama), Barr. Felix Morka, Hon. Rister A. Izedunor, Hon. Okubo Ojoto.
Other signatory to the statement include, Hon. Chief Benjamin Sharta (AKA DJ Ben), Engr. Uhrorho Koyoyo, Engr. K.K. Djagbo, Hon. Duke Okporua, Hon. Stephen Owherhi, Hon. Chief Hero Omwirhiren, Hon. John Oghenerume Oyibokwifi, Hon. Ighovojah Rosemary Esombi, Hon. Moses Ogodo and Hon. Tabuko Emmanuel.
The statement read in parts, “We the forum of APC 2019 election aspirants and canidates, hereby demand for the immediate resignation of Okonji Chidi State Secretary and Sir, A.S Mene, State Organizing Secretary from the SWC for their ignoble roles in defrauding the party and also seek explanation from the 2019 Gubernatorial candidate of our Party, Chief Great Ogboru on how the N4 billion released to the Delta State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the elections was spent.
“We also demand further explanation from Chief Great Ogboru on why he should purchase cars for two State Executive members of the party and other cronies, from the election funds without recourse to the leadership and other stakeholders of the party in the State.
“We have been inundated with complaints on how Chief Great Ogboru unilaterally spent election monies released to him in the past including the one of the last election, which he contested under the umbrella of our great party the APC.
“We also demand among other things, explanation why Chief Great Ogboru used his position as a gubernatorial candidate of our party to substitute names of those who won primary elections in their constituencies with the names of his cronies thereby causing the party so much disaffection, acrimonious rancour and misfortune in those constituencies during the election.
The group also demanded answers from the governorship candidate in the following areas:
- As a governorship candidate, he Ogboru should tell us how many votes he garnered for Mr. President during the elections.
- How many votes was Ogboru able to garner for the senate and house of representatives candidates.
- How many votes as governorship candidate was he able to muster during the governorship election. What was the margin of victory between himself and the PDP candidate.
Meanwhile when BIGPEN Online contacted Chief Ogboru who didn’t earlier pick calls to his mobile phone number to comment on this report, he reversed back after a text message was sent to his line in this regard, that it was foolhardy for anyone to insinuate that he was given N4 billion to prosecute the 2019 election.
He said that only some wretched buffoons would insinuate such things, adding that whoever gave the purported sum should provide the account where the money was wired into.
“Only fools would insinuate that. Tell them nobody gave me N4 Billion. Whoever gave it should ask for the account not some wretched buffoons”, he stressed.