By Igbaugba Ehigimetor
Ward nine (9) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo has disowned the letter expelling the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase.
Messrs Kehinde Ehimiaghe and Chief Ahonsi Ohiokede, Chairman and Secretary of the ward, respectively ,denied knowledge of the letter in a statement issued in Benin on Thursday.
The ward executives described the purported letter of expulsion as “embarrassing and misleading, and a calculated attempt” to tarnish the image of the lawmaker.
“It is a brazing subterfuge and deliberate falsehood to desperately attempt to tarnish the image of the respected leader with unsubstantiated and never sustainable allegations of anti-party activities.
“Ward 9 executive committee of APC is totally at a loss as to how and why such allegations are concocted to bring the reputation of our leader to public odium and disrepute.
“We completely disclaim the action since the allegations are false and the purported expulsion illegal and unconstitutional,” it stated.
The statement further said that no complaint was received from any person or any organ of the party against the person of Iriase, in breach of article 21 (B1) and(B2).
Accordingly, “The breach of this would have necessitated the panel to investigate the the so-called allegations. Iriase was never invited to defend the allegations in breach of sacred rule of fair hearing.
“The local government area chapter of the party in Owan East, acted ultra vires its power to wit: by making public pronouncement in flagrant violation of article 21 sub A(v) of the party’s constitution.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the State Secretariat of the APC, had on Wednesday, also declared the purported expulsion of the deputy chief whip of the lower chamber of the National Assembly (NASS), null and void.
The party’s State Vice-Chairman in Edo North, Chief Sunny Okomayin, who made the declaration, had said, Iriase, a member of the National Executive Committee remained a respected leader of the party, both at the state and national level and a bonafide member of the party.
NAN also reports that the Owan East local government chapter of the party had on Monday, in a letter to the state secretariat, announced the expulsion of Iriase.
In the letter signed by Messrs Zuberu Shabah and Theophilus Aigboje, Chairman and Secretary of the chapter, respectively, stated that it merely ratified the expulsion of the lawmaker by the ward executives over an alleged anti-party activities.