President Muhammadu Buhari deliberately stayed away from the All Progressives Congress (APC) grand rally in Lokoja, Kogi State as the ruling party held a grand rally on Saturday, ahead of the November 21 governorship election in the state.
Neither the President nor Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, were present at the rally, which held at the Lokoja International Stadium.
President Buhari was expected to formally present Audu Abubakar to the voters, by raising his hand at the rally which was initially scheduled for Saturday, October 24, but was pushed-forward at the behest of the President.
Some members of the party believe that the President intentionally failed to turn up, due to Abubakar’s lingering case at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a documents obtained and report filed by PREMIUM TIMES the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, had written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, seeking the disqualification of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Abubakar Audu, from contesting the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Mr. Audu won the primary election of the APC on August 30 amidst calls by some Nigerians that fielding him as candidate was a negation of the ruling party’s anti-graft war.
In a letter dated September 21, 2015, with reference number EFCC/EC/SGF/03/59, and titled “F.R.N Vs Abubakar Audu & 1 other Charge No: FCT/CR/115/ 2013”, the EFCC chairman wrote to the secretary to the government of the federation reminding him that Mr. Audu was standing trial for corruption.
“The candidate was arraigned by the Commission for abuse of office, theft of public funds and money laundering during his tenure as Executive Governor of Kogi State between 1999 and 2003 at both Kogi High Court, Lokoja in 2006 and the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo Abuja in 2013,” Mr. Lamorde wrote.
“The Lokoja case was stalled for six years on the account of frivolous interlocutory applications by the accused person, which has taken us twice to the Supreme Court and eventually decided in the commission’s favour on 23rd November 2012.