The Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Abba Yaro, has appeared before the party’s North Central Zone Fact Finding Panel to clear his name over allegations of anti-party activities, financial recklessness, high-handedness, arbitrary expulsion of party members, among others.
He stormed the North Central zonal office in Lafia with all the 23 local government chairmen of the party in Benue and other party stalwarts as well as supporters.
This was sequel to a petition written against the embattled state Chairman by a political group, under the aegis of Concerned Benue stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress.
Yaro, who claimed he was not aware of the petition written against him, also claimed that the petitioners did not serve him with a copy.
Consequently, he asked the committee to give him and his lawyers one week to study the content of the allegations.
Reacting, Chairman of the Panel, Barrister Muhammed Liman, granted the plea and gave Yaro five days to file his defense.
“In the spirit of our party’s constitution, the committee has given you up to Monday, August 14, to file your defence,’’ Liman said.
He assured that all the parties would be given fair hearing without fear or favor.
Earlier, one of the petitioners, Johnson Agada, had told the panel that Yaro was responsible for the party’s inability to field candidate for Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu federal constituency during the 2015 general election to make it possible for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate to win the election.
Agada also tendered a Federal High Court judgment that ordered the chairman (Yaro), to return the sum of N2.4 million party nomination fee and pay a damage of N1 million to the candidate for not presenting him to INEC.
Another petitioner, Frank Utoo, claimed to have contested the primaries for Makurdi/Uma Federal Constituency and alleged that the party chairman replaced his name on the eve of election with a dead person to pave way for another candidate during 2015 election.
Utoo said: “Two of us contested the primaries and I won, later the chairman submitted my name with that of Senator George Akume’s gateman in Asokoro, Abuja, to Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.
“They later reported the death of the candidate (gateman) to INEC and replaced him with Dickson Takgir who is occupying the seat now.”