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Showdown Looms In Enugu APC over $1.5m Convention Windfall

…..As Stakeholders Accuse State Chairman Agballa Of Pocketing N238m

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The national convention and presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have come and gone, but the rumpus in some state chapters of the party over the alleged pocketing of the largesse allegedly doled out by presidential aspirants is far from being over.

In Enugu State chapter of the party, serious crisis looms as delegates in the last convention as well as party stakeholders are set for a showdown with the state party chairman, Ugochukwu Agballa, and the governorship candidate, Uche Nnaji.

This is even as party stakeholders also accused Agballa of pocketing a lion share of the funds released for the purchase nomination forms to various offices for Enugu APC members.

A Source close to the Enugu APC who craved anonymity has revealed that delegates, numbering 51, are plotting a demonstration to the APC state office to compel their chairman, Agballa and Uche Nnaji to release the over $1.5 million dollars allegedly collected in their name from various aspirants at the presidential convention.

According to him, “Greed is a general phenomenon in Nigerian politics, but that of Ugo Agballa has no equals. They collected various sums amounting to over $1.5 million in our name, but pocketed the funds out of greed.

“Enugu had 51 delegates for the national convention. Senator Ahmed Lawan brought $10,000. But Agballa and Nnaji gave $5,000 to each delegate and pocketed $5,000. It means that they shared $255,000 and took $255,000.

“Both men also coordinated the Vice president Osibanjo’s outreach to delegates. Osibanjo brought $5,000 for each delegate, totaling $255,000, but they pocketed all.

“Did you know that Ogun delegates rejected Osibanjo’s $5,000, maybe because Tinubu gave them $25,000 each? But in our own case, we didn’t even see the Osibanjo largesse. We would probably not have known if his direct national coordinators did not inform us.

“Tinubu gave $10,000 for each Enugu delegate. That was a total of $510,000 from Tinubu pocketed by Agballa till date and he is accusing other people of corruption.

“Now, add the monies brought by Akpabio, Jack-Rich and others, then you know how much we were short-changed by greedy men. It is well over $1.5 million.

“The only money we got in full was the $5,000 shared by Rotimi Amaechi to each of the 51 delegates from Enugu. Euegne Odo and Ayogu Eze coordinated for him and everyone got $5,000 each. Even the same Ugo Agballa and Uche Nnaji, the governorship candidate that should be giving to us all got their $5,000 from Amaechi.

“We heard that while Agballa is using our money to build an estate, Nnaji quickly bought himself a house overseas.

“So, did we go to Abuja just to view the Aso Rock? Virtually all of us had seen that rock many times over. We were no tourists to Abuja”, an aggrieved party member said.

Speaking further, the source alleged that N238 million was released to the Enugu state chapter of the APC to finance the nomination and expression of interest forms in all House of Assembly, National Assembly, and governorship nomination and expression of interest forms of willing aspirants.

“As you know, we have never been lucky in Enugu State as a party. So, we were given a total of N238 million to ensure we fielded candidates for all the House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate, and governorship seats.

“That way, you have people who have something at stake mobilising for the party at all levels. That way, we can at least hope for 25 per cent votes in the presidential election in Enugu.

“In Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, they gave the ticket to one Madam Claire Ilo. She is from Oji River, based in the USA and does not even have a clue as to what goes on in Nigerian or Enugu politics.

“Expression of interest form for House of Representatives is N1 million, but the nomination fee, which should have been N10m, is free for women. So, that is another N10 million sidestepped.

“By the way, what is the wisdom in giving both the senatorial and House of Representatives tickets to the same Oji River?

“The surrogate they brought in as the candidate for Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency where the governorship candidate comes from, is one office cleaner at the party’s office somewhere around Nza Street Enugu, Independence Layout, Enugu. Her name is Uchime Ogbu. That is another N10 million expression of interest form skipped and retired.

“In Enugu South/Enugu North Federal Constituency, they fielded Mrs. Juliet Egbo, wife of John Egbo, a major PDP stakeholder from Enugu South LGA. Is that not laughable?

“In her own case, she even bought her nomination form by herself. In other words, Agballa did not spend a dime as expression of interest, which is supposed to be N1 million or the N10 million for nomination form, which is free for women.

“The entire Enugu West and Enugu North Senatorial District National Assembly candidates bought their forms by themselves. In some places like Igboeze North/Udenu, we don’t even have House of Representatives candidates. For any federal constituency we didn’t field a candidate, that is N11 million not spent.

“So, where is all the money? How can Agballa not account for a whooping N238 million or the over $1.5 million national convention money? As things stand now, if the party leadership in Abuja refuses to prevail on Agballa to cough out both, then he, his governorship candidate, and their master in Imo State should be ready to deliver APC alone.

“Even at that, we are ready to give them a fight of their lives since they think we are all fools as well as weak men and women. We are mobilising to the party office this week because we are not all fools”.

Meanwhile, Agballa has been having running battles with party chieftains in the state since his emergence.

In August, a delegation of the state’s APC stakeholders led by former Senate President and member of the defunct national caretaker committee, Senator Ken Nnamani, stormed the national secretariat of the party where they met with the national leadership to submit an application calling for Agballa’s removal and the appointment of a caretaker committee.

Apart from Nnamani, the petition was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; former governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime; former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odoh; former state chairman, Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu; member of the Police Service Commission, Onyemuche Nnamani; Member of the Federal Character Commission, Ginika Member; Board Member, National Deposit Insurance Company, NDIC, General Joseph Okoloagu.

Others are, Member, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Senator Ayogu Eze; former Attorney-General, Enugu State,, Barr. Ifeanyi Nwoga; former governorship candidate and National Secretary of the United Nigeria Congress Party, Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu; Ambassador of Nigeria to Poland, Ambassador Christian Ugwu, among others.
When African Examiner contacted Spokesman to Agballa, Mr. Ken Offoma he said “My response as media adviser to Agballah is: That you should disregard the report.

“It is fake news being sponsored by PDP and their collaborators in APC Enugu state. This fake report that has no source or attribution nor backed by actual petition, is one out of many fake stories and jaundiced write-ups being sponsored by PDP in reaction to the explosive interview granted by Agballah to Urban Radio, an Enugu based FM radio station.

“In the trending radio interview Agballah exposed the guber candidate of PDP as a tainted candidate and the past/current PDP administration as gang of plunderers that have looted Enugu state dry and destroyed all the monuments in Enugu such as the zoological and botanical garden, the Centenary city, the recreation gardens in the state among others.

“But for the records, no APC presidential candidate gave Ugo Agballah a Fadden to give to any delegate.

“Every presidential candidate had a coordinate for each state and it is such coordinators that act as a liaison between the candidate and the delegates. Every coordinator has the list and contact of delegates of the state he/she is coordinating , and reaches them directly if need be.

“It is unfortunate that the fake report did not have the name of even a single delegate from Enugu state. And the peddlers of the fake news did not attach any petition to back the report, because there is none.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=83210

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