Obaseki’s largesse tears PDP apart, chairman suspended

The crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the largesse allegedly given to the party by Governor Godwin Obaseki has worsened leading to the suspension of the state chairman, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi.

Aziegbemi was suspended on Tuesday night over alleged misconduct and fraud by 12 members of the State Working Committee (SWC) during a meeting.

The SWC also resolved that the state deputy chairman, Harrison Omagbon, should act pending the conclusion of investigation into the allegations levelled against the suspended chairman.

Aziegbemi, according to source at the meeting was accused of collecting money from Obaseki without disclosing it to the SWC.

Obaseki defected to the PDP at the buildup to the 2020 governorship election in the state following his disqualification by the screening committee of the APC over issues surrounding his certificate.

Aside from the fraud allegation, he was also accused of raising false alarm on harmonisation through a petition to the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.

PDP, in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, said the chairman was suspended following the two-third majority of the SWC in a motion which resolved that he should step aside.

It said an investigative committee headed by the State Legal Adviser, Barr. Arthur Esene, was set up to investigate the allegation and report back in one week.

Nehikhare urged the members and supporters to remain calm as the party has embarked on a self-cleansing exercise.

But the state PDP Financial Secretary, Fidelis Ehis Igenebale, said Aziegbemi has not been suspended by the SWC.

“Apart from the fact that the SWC has no power to suspend or discipline the state chairman, there were no suspensions whatsoever but more of a heated argument against the chairman for insisting and appealing that the letter to the national chairman should be withdrawn,” he said.

When contacted, the suspended chairman, through a text message, said he would call our correspondent but did not at the time of filing this report.

But a source close to him said the allegations were untrue and that he (Aziegbemi) would approach the court to clear his name.

Our reporter could not get a reaction from the governor has he is yet to appoint a spokesperson and commissioner for Information.

 

Court will decide fate of 14 members-elect  — Obaseki

Meanwhile, Obaseki yesterday said that it is the court that will decide the fate of the 14 members-elect of the state House of Assembly and not him.

The candidate of the APC in the September 19, 2020, governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu had on Monday appealed that the 14 members-elect should be sworn in.

Crisis has been rocking the Edo State House of Assembly since July 2019 when it was inaugurated. At the inception of the parliament, only 10 of the 20 members-elect were inaugurated. The seats of the 14 members- elect have been declared vacant.

Speaking during an interactive session with stakeholders in the state yesterday, he said the lawmakers- elect have committed treasonable offences.

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