The Screening Appeals Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention has said that 19 aspirants for various party offices have been screened out.
Chairman of the Appeals Subcommittee and Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha told newsmen on Saturday that the committee has not received any petition against any of those aspiring for the offices of the National Chairman and National Secretary.
He disclosed that the committee hopes to submit its final report to the convention committee by Monday, adding that aside petitions against some of the aspirants, there was one general petition demanding for justice.
Okorocha said “Our committee which is the sub committee established by the national convention committee has the responsibility to entertain petitions and appeal arising from the screening committee report for all offices of the party.
“We have been sitting for a number of days now and we have received several petitions. We have made it public that anyone who is petitioning or being petitioned against should make available documents to support his claim or to defend himself.
“As you can see, we have started receiving petitions and appeals. Right now, we have seven aspirants here. We have resolved to give everyone a fair hearing so that Justice, equity and fairness will prevail so that we prevent crisis in the party.
“We are carefully selected Nigerians from all works of life from different states that constitute membership of this committee. We have two days to do this job and we will be submitting our report by Monday barely any other reason. We are here to work all day and all night and take our decision.
“The screening appeal is the final appeal in this case. After this appeal committee, the next appeal will be after election appeal which will come after the convention. We are unmindful of the fact that the convention committee will need time to start printing of ballot papers for the convention and so, we will ensure that we complete this job on time.
“So far, we have about 18 petitions before us and we have 19 persons that did not make it at the screening level. These are the things we are looking to see the merit or otherwise of their claims.
“We are going to use the screening committee report as a major guide to what we are doing. As soon as we are through with this, we are going to make it known to the public those who have succeeded at the appeals committee level.”
On whether the committee has power to disqualify those already screened and qualified, he said “yes, if you don’t make the appeal screening, you are disqualified because there is no other appeal after this.
“If the appeals committee upholds the position of the screening on the 19 persons, it means they have been disqualified from contesting the election. If there is anybody who has been screened and there is a petition against him, we have power to uphold his qualification or disqualify him based on the merits of the petition.”