By Chuks Onuoha.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Abia State chapter has expelled two Chieftains of the party over their involvement in ant-party activities in the state.
They are a former House of Representatives member, Hon Uzor Azubuike and a former Finance commissioner in Abia state, Hon Obinna Oriaku.
The duo were notified of their expulsions in their separate letters, addressed to them, signed by Abia APC Chairman, Dr Kingsley Ononogbu, Secretary, Chief Chidi Avajah and the Chairman of Disciplinary Committee, Barr. Paul Nwabuisi.
The expelled party Chieftains hitherto belonged to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, before they crossed over to APC.
Azubuike, under his former party, PDP, served as Deputy Speaker of Abia House of Assembly before he went to the National Assembly as a House of Representative member, while Oriaku served as a Finance commissioner during Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s first tenure, and was one of the governorship aspirants of APC when he joined the party, who vied for the party ticket during the May 26, 2022 primary and failed.
The statement the party issued for their expulsion explained that it decided to wield the big stick against the two members “following reports of acts of disobedience and negligence in carrying out lawful directives of the party, unrepentant as well as their UN-remorseful attitude despite several warnings for them to abide by the party’s constitution”.
The party’s leadership explained further that the expulsions were “as a result of thorough investigations and recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee” set up by party leaderships at ward, local government and state levels ” which were in consonant with Article 21B(i-v) of the party’s Constitution.
The explained that Azubuike who represented Aba federal constituency between 2011 – 2015 , has been seen severally, openly supporting the governorship candidate of PDP, Prof Uche Ikonne and even donated campaign vehicles to him at an event which was publicized widely .
The Disciplinary Committee which investigated their activities recommended expulsion “having found evidences substantial enough” to warrant such measure of disciplinary action on them..
While Azubuike was expelled from his Ward 8 Aba North Local Government, Oriaku was sent packing from his Ward 3 Isiala Ngwa South, with ratification by their respective local government chapters of APC as well as the state leadership.
The Disciplinary Committee that was investigating the allegations leveled against them found out that Azubuike and Oriaku were ignored letters of invitation to appear before the Committee at the party secretariat Umuahia on September 26, 2022.
The invitation letter dated 20th September, 2022 signed by the Disciplinary Committee chairman, Paul Nwabuisi and secretary, Uche Okorokwo, Azubuike and Oriaku were warned that “the committee will have no choice than to give its verdict” if they failed to appear for their defense.
The party stated that it is “highly committed to its integrity”, and that the national Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu “will not tolerate party members who promote rival parties and engage in other forms of anti-party activities”.
The party warned other people who are engaging in such act to desist or face the full wrath of the party’s constitution. END