- Heritage Bank staff lay siege in his Abuja residence over unpaid loans
The ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State may not participate in the forthcoming governorship election in the State over tardiness in handling of the election process, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.
This is just as the Governorship ambition of Senator Andy Uba is hanging on a precarious balance as staff of Heritage Bank Plc invaded his private residence in Abuja on Monday to demand that he pay up his debts to the bank.
INEC has earlier notified the APGA faction led by Victor Oye and loyal to Govenor Willie Obiano that it did not duly notify it of the plan to hold Ward Congresses ahead of the governorship poll within the stipulated 21 days recommended by its regulations and Section 85 of the Electoral Act.
In one of the letters, the commission addressed its position to the principal counsel of a law firm, Omas and Partners, who had earlier written and asked for the information while relying on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
The letter dated June 18, 2021 read, “This is to inform you that the commission did not receive the statutory 21 days’ notice for the nomination of APGA Anambra State governorship candidate from Victor Oye led APGA.
“Accordingly, the commission did not monitor the said ward congress and as such, there is no monitoring report of the Commission.”
The second letter which was addressed to the National Chairman of APGA also read, “Please refer to your letter dated June 16, 2021 forwarding the list of delegates for the nomination of APGA’s Governorship Candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election.
“This is to notify you that the records of the Commission indicates that APGA did not duly notify the Commission of the date of the Congress where the ad hoc delegates were elected as required by Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended)
“Accordingly the Commission is unable to confirm if the Ad hoc Delegates list submitted by your party is the outcome of a democratic process as required by Section 87(7) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
“The Commission wishes to emphasize the need for full compliance with all legal requirements for the conduct of Party Primaries as earlier communicated in the Commissions letter to your Party dated 37 June 2021 (REF: INEC/DEPM/UPPM/119/1/37).”
The two letters by INEC have therefore rendered APGA’s Wednesday governorship primary an exercise in futility as the use of invalid delegate list will exclude the party from the election.
Meanwhile, the Jude Okeke-led APGA which suspended Oye for deliberate refusal to submit 21 days’ notice for his faction to the Commission, said through its Publicity Secretary, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, that said the faction remains the only option and hope for APGA to have a candidate in Anambra since he dully submitted all the notices.
Said Chukwunyere: “We are aware of the position of INEC on this matter. As disheartening as it is, there is still hope for the party. Although the Oye faction had missed the issuance of statutory notice, all hope is not lost if the party backs the Okeke faction.
“This is because the Okeke faction has served all valid notices for the APGA primary in Anambra. It is important to join hands with the factiom now if the party must take part in the election.”
The Heritage bank staff were at Andy Uba’s residence in Abuja for a “peaceful meeting” to demand the return of loans he took from the bank.
In a video of the bank staff members which is now trending, a voice that explained the mission of the mostly young men and women in mostly jeans trousers and T-shirts loitiering at the gate and other areas of the fence, said they risk losing their jobs if the Senator does not pay the loans he took from the bank years ago.
The narrator, who ostensibly was too emotional, further said the payment of the loans are imperative as they were depositors’ funds.
It is not yet clear how much loan facility the former Senator took from the bank.
The video has thrown his campaign and supporters in disarray as the APC Governorship primary election for Anambra State holds on Saturday, June 26.
The three major political parties contesting the November 6 election include the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the APC. There are also other small parties trying to show strength sequel to financial strength of some of its members.