The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has set up an external audit panel to scrutinise financial transactions under the leadership of its erstwhile chairman, Abdullahi Adamu.
This is as former Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Ajibola Basiru, yesteday, emerged national chairman and secretary of the party, respectively.
The probe of Adamu, former Nasarawa State governor is against the backdrop of alleged widespread incidences of financial recklessness during his reign as chairman.
Salihu Lukman, who recently resigned as vice chairman (North West) of the party, had consistently accused Adamu of financial recklessness, especially the misappropriation of over N30 billion generated from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2023 general election.
Prior to his resignation, Adamu had had fought hard to defend the graft allegations as well as claims of high handedness and autocratic administrative against him by some party faithful.
But other soruces said the planned probe was not unexpected given the frosty relationship between Adamu and President Bola Tinubu prior to his emergence as presidential canddiate of the party and eventual victory at the February 25 poll. Adamu’s support for the candidature of Ahmed Lawan, former Senate President, as consensus candidate, is believed not to have gone down well with Tinubu and his supporters.
The president during the National Caucus meeting at State House on Wednesday had charged the new leadership of the party to be prudent in their financial dealings. This was seen as an indication of his disapproval of allaged mismanagement of the finances of the party.
Itemising the agenda for the meeting, then acting national chairman, Abubakar Kyari, said: “The meeting is, therefore, convened to purposely address two issues; the appointment of external auditors of the party and the filling of the existing vacancies in the office of the national chairman and national secretary. The officers play a pivotal role in strategic direction for the party. It is pertinent to note that as enshrined in the Constitution of our party, under Article 13.3 (ii), The NEC has the powers to “discharge all functions of the National Convention in between National Conventions.”
However, amending the agenda for the meeting, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, moved a formal motion for NEC to cede power and responsibility to the NWC to fill up the remaining vacancies. His motion was seconded by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, who doubles as chairman APC Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).
Similarly, NEC passed a vote of confidence on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of the presidential election.
Passing the confidence vote, Governor Uzodinma said: “We did very well during the 2023 general election. We won the presidential, 20 states, controlled majority of the National Assembly. During the campaign, we received all sorts of campaign of calumny against our great party, we were not deterred. We continued with our campaign, and won, yet the opposition party who decided to adopt the antics of name calling will not rest on their oasis.
“Even the 2023 election has been adjudged the most transparent election since the inception of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, they are still going about inciting Nigerians, blackmailing our party. Since this is the first NEC meeting after the election, it presents an opportunity for us to react to some of the antics. Recently, they have shifted into blackmailing INEC, the entire integrity of the nation, trying to instigate the poor and innocent masses into believing their falsehood. Of late, they generated an EU report, by the EU monitoring team whose address and identity we don’t know.
“We must, therefore, use the opportunity presented by this meeting to rise and condemn in its entirety, the campaign of calumny, inciting of innocent Nigerians against this unethical type of opposition going on in Nigeria and give implicit vote of confidence on the integrity of the last presidential election and the same confidence on the integrity of INEC. This is our country and we must take our destiny into our hands and control the government of today,” Governor Uzodimma moved the motion.”