The crisis rocking the Enugu State Chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)has shown no sign of abating as aggrieved members on Monday besieged the national secretariat of the party over alleged N1.3 billion alleged fraud involving the chairman of the party, Ugochukwu Agballah and the governorship candidate, Uche Nnaji.
The protesters alleged that the duo have misappropriated the sum of N283 million meant for the expression of interest and nomination forms to ensure that the party fields candidates for the governorship, and all the National Assembly and State Assembly seats in Enugu State.
In a swift reaction, Enugu State APC chairman, Agballah, said the claims made by the protesters are untrue, adding that they were yet to be mobilised financially by the national leadership.
However, the leader of the protesters and Chairman, Concerned Members of Enugu APC, Alphonsus Ude, alleged that there had been impunity, gross misconduct, fraudulent administration, embezzlement of party funds, and impunity being perpetrated by the state chairman and the governorship candidate.
The aggrieved APC members also alleged the embezzlement of about $1.5 million being allowances for Enugu State delegates in the 2022 national convention and the presidential election.
He recalled that notable party leaders in the state were on a protest visit to the national leadership of the party in August 2022 where they submitted a petition calling for the removal of Ugochukwu Agballah as the State party chairman and appointment of a Caretaker Chairman to save the state chapter of the party from destruction and disgrace.
He added that the signatories and delegation included Senator Ken Nnamani, former President of the Senate; Mr. Geofrey Onyeama, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State; Barr. Eugene Odo, former Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly; Ambassador Christian Ugwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Poland, among many others.
Against this background, the protesters called for the immediate removal of Agballah as the chairman of the APC in Enugu State and the appointment of a Caretaker Chairman to pilot the party through the 2023 general election.
Ude said unfortunately, all the issues forewarned against and more are happening in the Enugu State chapter of the party, saying unless urgent and drastic steps are taken, the party faces a disastrous and scandalous outing in the state in the forthcoming general election.
“We are calling for the immediate removal of Agballah as the chairman of the APC in Enugu State and the appointment of a Caretaker Chairman to pilot the party through the 2023 general election.
“We call on the national leadership of the party to cause Agballah and Nnaji to immediately make available to the state’s delegates, the national convention and presidential primary election the allowances totalling about $1.5 million given to them.
Reacting, the Enugu State APC chairman said the claims made are untrue, insisting that they were yet to be mobilised financially by the national leadership.
He said, “We’re yet to get any money. The governorship candidate is the person funding the campaigns.”