Abia list Nmecha disqualification

No Comments » December 28th, 2006 posted by // Categories: Sovereign National Conference (SNC) Project



 

 

Friday, February 18, 2005
Guardian

Abia protests alteration of nominees’ list, govt explains decision
From Madu Onuorah, (Abuja), Gordi Udeajah, (Umuahia)

ABIA State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu on Wednesday protested the Presidency’s
alteration of the list of nominees the state submitted for the National
Political Reform Conference.

The state government has also requested that the original list be reverted to.

This, The Guardian learnt, was contained in the state’s protest letter to
President Obasanjo.

A nominee’s name was dropped from the governor’s list and substituted with
another without his (the governor’) knowledge.

Kalu, in his letter, said he was surprised to read from the published final list
of delegates that one of his nominees, Chief Lambert Nmecha, had been
substituted with one Vincent Brown, never nominated by Abia State.

The governor then demanded that the President should “kindly delete Vincent
Brown’s name and replace it with Chief Lambert Nmecha’s.”
 

But
the Presidency yesterday, in a swift reaction, said the list from the Abia State
government was altered because one of the nominees failed security screening.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media), Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, told
State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that when this was
noticed, efforts were made to contact Governor Kalu on the development and get
him to replace the dropped nominee. This, according to her, proved abortive.

As a result of the inability of the government to contact Kalu, President
Obasanjo, she said, contacted the Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara and
other leaders of thought from the state who made the new nomination that
appeared on the list released on Wednesday.

The President, Oyo explained, had no reason whatsoever to tamper with any state
list to the national conference except over a serious matter as the case in
question in Abia State.

She said: “President has respect for all members of the National Council of
State, including all Governors and former Presidents and Heads of State. There
is no reason to tamper with any list unless it is based on very serious factors
as it was in this case.”
 

Oyo
also said that the government has not received any official notice from Nobel
Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and University teacher, Dr. Bala Usman, rejecting
their nominations to the national conference.`
 

Vanguard
Abia nominee faults disqualification from
confab

ONE of Abia State’s nominees to the National Political
Reform Conference, Chief Lambert Nmecha, has described his disqualification from
the conference by the Federal Government as a move taken in bad faith.
 

From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia

Nmecha was on Monday denied participation in the
conference by the government on security grounds.

But in a statement yesterday, Nmecha challenged the
Presidency to publicly present its facts on his security status.

Nmecha stated that he never had any confrontation with the
security agencies to warrant his being labelled a security risk.

He said that throughout his working career, business and
entry into politics, especially those involving his screening by security
agencies and electoral bodies, he had received clearance from them.

The one-time commissioner, however, traced his ordeal to
1998 when he contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries and won the
Abia South Senatorial ticket.

While on intensive campaign for votes and three days to
the election, Nmecha said he was replaced by Chief Adolphus Wabara, the Senate
President, as the party’s candidate.

He said: “I was declared a security risk three days to the
election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“It was a known fact that it was my election campaign for
the PDP that got Wabara elected as a Senator in 1999. Love has remained lost
between Wabara and myself since I knew how the “security risk” clause was faked
up as a basis of my disqualification from contesting the Senate seat.

“When this ‘man made’ security issue became too repetitive
in pursuit of my political career, my lawyer, the late Chike Chigbue (SAN)
headed for the Federal High Court, Abuja, and the Court of Appeal.

“Judgments of the Federal High Court as delivered on
September 27, 2000 and the Court of Appeal given on April 13, 2000, are
available.

“INEC signed and delivered the letter of security risk to
me on February 16, 1999, through the state chairman of PDP in Abia. INEC and the
state resident Electoral Commissioner were respondents to the suits and I
contested the cases,” he said.

According to him, “since I obtained these judgments, I
have had the privilege of serving as Abia State Commissioner for Works, Housing
and Transport under Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s government between 2000 and 2002. I was
again screened and cleared by the Abia State House of Assembly and the Country’s
Security Agents.”
Nmecha said that Governor Kalu could not have nominated him to the conference if
he posed a security threat to the country.

He further said that in 1994 “I contested and won as one
of the 273 elected delegates to the Constitutional Conference representing Ukwa
Constituency and again I was screened and cleared by security agents.

“It is for these reasons that I, through the press, place
myself before the peoples court to demand for an explanation of what security
risk I pose to the country by making with others and discussing the face of the
country,” Nmecha said.

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