GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki has been disqualified from standing as a candidate in the Edo State primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to take place on June 22 when the party will elect a gubernatorial candidate.
With the Edo State gubernatorial elections due in September this year, Governor Obaseki and his predecessor, party chairman Adams Oshiomhole have been involved in a bitter spat over who controls the party in the state. Governor Obaseki is seeking to run for a second term, while Mr Oshiomhole has thrown his weight behind challenger Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former secretary to the Edo State government.
On a daily basis, the battle is getting more heated as the primaries draw closer and today, it took a turn for the worse when the APC announced that Governor Obaseki and two other candidates were barred from standing in the June 22 primaries. Announcing the disqualification at party headquarters in Abuja, the chairman of the screening committee, Professor Jonathan Ayuba, said only three aspirants were qualified to contest for the primaries.
According to the screening committee, Governor Obaseki presented the Higher School Certificate which the panel said was defective as no such certificate in existence, adding that the National Youth Service Corps certificate he presented did not have his name written properly. It added that based on these, the governor is not qualified to contest for the party primary scheduled for June 22.
Mr Oshiomhole was Edo State governor between 2008 and 2016 before handing over to Governor Obaseki, his hand-picked successor. Over the last year, however, the two have fallen out, with each controlling different factions of the APC in Edo State.
No doubt, the latest development will lead to further legal battles as Governor Obaseki is likely to go to court to get the decision reversed. Already, Mr Oshiomhole has been indicted for corruption by a panel of inquiry set up by Governor Obaseki and headed by Justice Oyomire.