There are fresh hints that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may reverse its decision recognizing Chief Victor Umeh as the national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), following a meeting of its top management on the lingering crises in the party.
Knowledgeable sources said the commission felt embarrassed upon receiving the Police report on the forensic analysis of the signature of seven APGA chieftains who had worn to an affidavit denying being part of the APGA National Executive Council (NEC) members which convened the July 16 APGA-NEC meeting.
Furthermore, it was revealed that after Professor Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman got a copy of the Police report and after further confirmation from the Police, he was said to have asked Mrs. Regina Omo-Agege, the INEC Director of Political Party Monitoring Unit, to carry out the necessary activities towards reversing the contents of an INEC letter with reference number INEC/LEG/APGA/222/11/313 of 26th July, which confirmed Chief Umeh as the APGA national chairman.
The letter signed by Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama, INEC secretary/ Permanent Secretary, stated that part of the reasons for recognizing Umeh as the authentic national chairman of APGA was that “11 members of the APGA NWC/NEC who were alleged to have signed the request on the national chairman to convene a meeting of the NEC of APGA alleged that that signature were forged”.
Actually it was learnt that the commission advised Chief Umeh to take up the issue of signature forgery with the Police which he (Umeh) did and with the outcome of the Police investigations disclosing that the people who claimed that their signature were forged had told a lie, since they actually signed those signatures.Now insiders asaid the commission is set to uphold the APGA-NEC decision which suspended Umeh and national secretary, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.
The new national secretary of the party, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna disclosed that they have also written to INEC to comply with the wishes of APGA party members by according formal recognition to Alhaji Sadeeq Massala as national chairman and Dr. Okwenna as secretary.
In a letter dated October 29 which was addressed to INEC, the party asked the commission that it should “in line with the provisions of the constitution of our party and the Electoral Act, 2010, recognize the NEC meeting of 16th July, 2012 which your commission duly participated/monitored and all decisions taken therein as that remains the wishes and interest of our greater number of our party members.
“As Daniel has indeed come to judgment in this matter, we trust in your ability to correct your commission’s error which I believe was caused by act of executive lawlessness and impunity of some of your officers”.
They insisted that doing so would give legitimacy to Article 9 and 22 of APGA constitution which gave two-third of NEC members the right to convene NEC meeting through a resolution to do so, where the chairman fails to convene such meetings.
In a report by the Police Forensic Department with reference number DFX/124/2012 dated October 23rd and signed by the Forensic Document Examiner, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ralph Onwuzuluigbo, the APGA officers were confirmed to have been the ones who actually signed the signatures in contention.
According to the report, which was obtained from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, analysis on the documents were carried out using Video Spectral Comparator (VSC-5000) and other distinguished apparatus.
“In the course of scientific examination and comparison carried out on each of the handwritings in the relevant columns of documents marked “New” and “Old”, I observed that the handwritings in the relevant columns of documents marked “New” were consciously written probably with a view of disowning them in future but the disguise notwithstanding, in comparing with each of the handwritings in the relevant columns of documents marked “Old”, I found inherent features of identity between them”.
Giving blow by blow account of the findings on the signature and handwriting of each of the officers of APGA, the Police declared that handwriting of Chief Chris Ndigwe and Hon. Chris N. Ndigwe on documents marked “Old” and “New” were written by one writer.
Similarly, they concluded that it was the same thing with the documents signed by Alfred Nwosu and Hon. Chris Nwosu; Bernard Akoma and Bernard Akoma; Ukpemetus Ugometu and Ukpemetus Ugometu; Hon. E. A. Shonibi and E. O. Shonibi; Alhaji Abubakar and Abubakar Adamu and Alhaji Ibrahim Garba and Alhaji Ibrahim Garba.
The Police remarked that “all the signatures in the relevant columns of documents marked “New” and “Old” are not structurally the same, probably, were signed with a view of disowning them”.