The post 2023 general election crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, has continued to claim more victims, unabated.
Already, some big political players have been punished for their perceived anti-party activities during the presidential, national and state assembly house of election in Edo State.
Those that have come under the hammer includes, Mr. Francis Inegbeniki, who was reportedly expelled recently and Mr. Bright Osayande who Mr. Oscar Aghedo, the Chairman of Ovia North East Local Government Area chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has referred to a deciplinary and investigation committe on allegation of anti-party activities.
Mr. Samson Osagie who had also been accused and earlier referred for investigation on allegation that he worked for the opposition party, has been expelled along with others by the executive of APC in Uhunmwode Local Government Area.
Apart from Osagie, APC also expelled the State Auditor, Woman Leader and five others.
Shortly after the elections, a disciplinary committee was set up by the party to investigate allegations of misconduct levelled against eleven persons, including the State Auditor of the party, Mr. Roland Alari; former Minority Whip, House of Representatives, Mr. Samson Osagie; Mrs. Esohe Idemudia, the LGA Woman Leader; Mr. Monday Guobadia; Mr. Nelson Gomez Iserhienrhien, LGA Secretary; Mr. Festus Iyekeoretin, Isi South Ward Chairman and Mr. Evans Ozabor.
Three accused persons – Mr. Jolly Iyekeoretin, Bar. Felix Alari and Mr. Simon Uduogie were left off the hook and pardoned, while Mr. William Amadin was recommended for six months suspension.
According to the report communicated to the lical government chairman, and signed by the Chairman, Prof. David Osifo and Secretary, Daniel A. Noah Osa-Ogbegie, Esq., Osagie and others allegedly “worked against the party in their respective wards and units in the just concluded general elections resulting to the party’s failure in the local government area.”
Alari was found guilty for his involvement in “the 30 million Naira the PDP shared in Ehor ward on the eve of the House of Assembly election…and “he openly canvassed for votes against the party in his unit on the day of election for the House of Assembly.”
It claimed also that Alari “organised a party in his house at Ehor to celebrate the loss of the party (APC) in his unit and ward in the House of Assembly election, singing songs to mock the party.”
Osagie on the other hand, was pronounced guilty for his refusal to attend leaders’ meeting, open campaign against his party , the APC.
“That he (Osagie) lost all the three Elections that were conducted on 25th Feb in his unit and ward by high margins.
“On the eve of the House of Assembly Elections; which was Friday 17th March, that he, Hon. Samson Osagie was seen in Rialto hotel, Eyaen at night holding a meeting with some of his ward leaders including Mrs. Betty Iyayi, LGA Assistant Women Leader, Barr. Uyi Ediale, LGA Legal Adviser, among others. It was gathered that it was in that meeting, he concluded plans to sabotage APC and work in favour of the opposition in their various units.”
The report added that: “It is confirmed that he, Hon. Osagie called Hon. Stanley Otabor one of the Legacy PDP members who had agreed to work for the APC that he had resolved to work for PDP and that he (aforementioned Stanley Otabor) should join.
“It is also confirmed that he told one Mr. Igbinidu, a legacy PDP member that he should work for PDP when he (Igbinidu) was ready to work for the APC following prior arrangement the APC made with his PDP group.
“That the said Mr. Igbinudu was called by Hon. Charles Idahosa and he confirmed it to Hon. Charles Idahosa
“In his polling unit on the House of Assembly Election Day, it was confirmed by some voters that Hon. Osagie told them to vote for the opposition PDP and when he was asked why, he said that was the order and that the PDP candidate was born at Egba and from neighbouring community, so Egba people must support their own. That was how APC lost the election to PDP.”
Betty Iyayi was found guilty for saying away from campaigns. “That she was in the USA at the beginning of campaigns and refused to participate in campaign even after she came back to Nigeria.
“That she did not donate any money to the campaign even after enjoying the opportunity as National delegate in the Presidential primaries.
“That she canvassed votes for the PDP to win Igieduma ward. That perusal of her unit and ward results eloquently point to her acts of sabotage against the party that has done much for her.”
She was also accused of “collecting money from Governor Godwin Obaseki’s PDP in the House of Assembly election.”
In his response sent to Midwest Herald, Osagie blamed his ordeal on those envious of his rise in politics.
He insisted that his accusers are on a voyage to no where and their efforts will end in futility.
“My response is that, the allegations against me were duly answered and all denied but the committee abandoned my responses to the allegations and made their unjust and unfair recommendations even when they have no congent evidence to substantiate the allegations.
“The conclusion in my response shows clearly that the committee acted with bias as the recommendations shows that they were accusers, prosecutors and judges in the same matter.
“I had no doubt in my mind that their report will not be different from what they have made. Indeed they were working from answer to questions to satisfy the bid of their pay masters.
“Unfortunately, the entire charade falls short of the constitutional requirements for discipline in Article 21 of the APC Constitution.”
Osagie concluded that: “…the purported expulsion is ultra vires both the Committee and the Uhunmwode Local Government chapter of the APC.”