The APC Justice Forum/Buhari Support groups in Kogi state has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to disqualify Governor Yahaya Bello from participating in the party’s governorship primaries over alleged double registration for the permanent voters’ cards.
In a statement it issued in Abuja Wednesday by the Forum’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Atekojo Samson Usman, said the essence of the screening was to ensure that the party did not field a candidate that would be a subject for litigation.
They said the allegation of double registration made against the Kogi state governor late last year, which was an embarrassment to the party, should not be allowed as the governor would be facing prosecution immediately he stepped down from the office.
The group pointed out that the offence of double registration for PVCs, which Yahaya Bello allegedly committed “attracts a one-year prison term or a fine of N100, 000 or both upon conviction.”
They reminded the party that, “the Independent National Electoral Commission, which had sacked three of its officials for registering the governor twice last year, had said it could not take any action against the governor because he had immunity.”
The statement explained that APC’s anti-corruption fight had endeared the party to Nigerians in the last five years, hence, scaling Bello in the obvious double registration scandal which some persons have been punished amount to hypocrisy and selective justice by the ruling party.
“It’s in the public domain that the governor, who is also an aspirant in the forthcoming elections in Kogi state, was involved in double registration scam. Some persons, who were found culpable, have been punished, so, what happens to the accused?
“Yahaya Bello should be disqualified at the APC screening of aspirants based on that. If he is allowed go scot-free at the screening, then, something is wrong with the anti-corruption fight which is the slogan of the APC and Nigerians are watching”, the forum maintained.
The group further insisted it was the responsibility of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to take decision in the interest of the party, rather than allow an individual to do so, saying the APC cannot afford to lose the state to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).