PDP Presidential aspirant to face probe over alleged leakage of National Zoning Committee report

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Iyorchia Ayu

A Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, (name withheld) is to be probed by the National Executive Committee NEC of the party for allegedly leaking the report of Governor Samuel Ortom led National Zoning Committee.

The presidential aspirant who is to face a probe alongside others suspected to have aided him in accessing the highly confidential document may be expelled from the PDP as a punishment.

Sources at the Wadata House National Secretariat of PDP said that a 7-man probe panel is to be put in place at any moment to expeditiously deal with the matter considered deliberate sabotage.

National Chairman of the party Dr Iyorchia Ayu was said to have personally felt thoroughly bitter and embarrassed over the speed at which the Zoning Report found its way out of the Wadata House and circulated to some persons considered as destabilising agents working against the 2023 agenda of the party.

An on the spot investigation by the National Executive Committee NEC was said to have revealed a shocking step being made to run the party into trouble in its planned May 28 Presidential primary election to nominate the party’s flag bearer in the coming presidential election.

The National Zoning Committee Report was submitted to Dr Iyorchia Ayu led PDP NEC and is slated for debate on May 10 when a final decision on the zoning issue is expected to be adopted.

However, less than 36 hours after the submission of the report, some top officials of the party were said to have been influenced by external forces leading to the leak of the report.

To worsen the situation, the leaked report was used at the Federal High Court in Abuja for a suit seeking to stop the planned Presidential primary on the ground that the zoning was not done in favour of the South-East geo-political zone.

Specifically, the suit was instituted by serving Commissioner for Trade and Investments in Abia State, Cosmos Ndukwe.

The National Zoning Committee Report was one of the key documents attached to Ndukwe’s ex-parte application filed alongside his originating summons in the suit against the presidential primary.

Ndukwe, a former Deputy Speaker in the Abia State House of Assembly had filed an exparte application seeking to stop the presidential primary of the PDP on account of zoning.

In doing so, he attached the communique of the Governor Ortom Committee whose recommendations are yet to be ratified by the PDP NEC but scheduled for May 10.

PDP NEC, it was gathered, concluded that exhibiting the Zoning Committee Report in the open court is a confirmation that an interest higher than Ndukwe is behind the alleged plot to scuttle PDP presidential primary.

A source in the National Working Committee NWC of the PDP informed our Correspondent on the grounds of anonymity that the party is considering probing the presidential aspirant and others who may be implicated in the leakage of the document and sanctioning them appropriately in line with its constitution.

Two of the presidential aspirants were said to have been dropped after a screening exercise last Friday and Ndukwe is suspected to be one of them even though Senator David Mark led Committee did not mention names of the aspirants that were screened out.

A careful look at the leaked document confirmed that the Ortom Committee had actually recommended that the presidential contest of the PDP should be thrown open for all aspirants irrespective of their zones of origin.

Attempts by our correspondent to reach the PDP national Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu for comments were unsuccessful as his security details insisted on written permission before he could be accessed.

The security details hinged cited pressure of work which Ayu is handling on the 2023 election preparation as the reason to block our Reporter.

However, apart from Governor Ortom, the 35-member National Zoning Committee consisted of Attahiru Bafarawa, Prof Jerry Gana, Olabode Ibiyinka George, Ahmed Markarfi, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Wale Oladipupo and Boni Haruna.

Others are Jonah David Jang, Adamu Wasiri, Prof ABC Nwosu, Senator Abdul Ningi, Mao Ohuabuwa, Sanusi Daggashi, Tom Ikimi, Ayodele Fayose Ibrahim Dankwambo and Sule Lamido among others.

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