APC disqualifies ex-INEC REC, clears Lokpobiri,and 5 others for primary


All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Screening Committee has disqualified the former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross Rivers State, Briyai Frankland from the primary slated for August 29.

The Isa Song-led committee, however, cleared former minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, oil magnate, David Lyon, an APC founding member, Preye Aganaba, former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Ebitimi Amgbare, former commissioner, Diseye Nsirim Poweigha and Maritime University Vice Chancellor, Ongoebi Maureen Etebu, for the primary.

According to a screening report by Song and the Secretary, Clement Chinaka, Briyai was disqualified over allegation of not being a card-carrying member for up to one calendar year.

He is also not known to have contributed financially to the party because he just resigned his position as REC in July.

The report also stated that he was disqualified on the grounds of Section 3, Paragraph “L” of the guidelines for nomination of candidates.

The report, which was signed by all seven members of the screening committee, stated that the committee conducted its exercise in line with guidelines and code of conduct of the party which emphasised that aspirants must have been a card-carrying members of the party up to one calendar year.

The report stated that the committee resorted to use balloting to ensure all aspirants are afforded equal opportunities.

In his reaction, Frankland said he has taken his case to the appeal committee.

He said: “I don’t know how you know I was not cleared. Don’t forget my waiver is being processed. That I am not cleared doesn’t mean l have been disqualified.

“The National Working Committee (NWC) is looking into the waiver issue. It is under process.

“There is an online report that says I have been disqualified, it is only NWC that can disqualified anybody.

“What the screening and appeal panels do is to recommend to the NWC their findings, disqualification comes from the NWC. So, I have not been disqualified,” he said.

Asked if he appeared before the appeal committee, he said: “Yes, I did and I told them I have applied for waiver.”

Meanwhile, PDP said the state is a no-go-area for the APC.

The party National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this in a chat with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, said Bayelsa is traditionally a home of PDP and would remain so in the coming election.

Ologbondiyan noted that though the APC is free to exercise its democratic right to participate in the governorship poll, the ruling party does not stand any chance in the contest.

He said based on how the APC has administered the country in the past four years, people of Bayelsa State will not vote for the ruling party in the forthcoming governorship poll.