From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has worsened as the state chairman, Chief Ugochukwu Agballah, and the governorship candidate, Chief Uche Nnaji, have been dragged to the state High Court over alleged N1.7 billion fraud by an aggrieved member of the party.
In the Suit No. E/47/2023, which has the APC, Agballah, and Nnaji as the first, second, and third Defendants, respectively, the Plaintiff and Leader of Concerned Enugu APC Members, Adolphus Ude, accused Agballah and Nnaji of lack of misappropriation of party funds and lack of accountability.
Ude, who is the pioneer deputy chairman of the party in Enugu, alleged in the suit that the Enugu State chapter of the party realised N786 million from the sale of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms, which the defendants were yet to account for.
He also alleged that the APC, Enugu State, realised an additional $1,351,000 from consultations and logistics from presidential aspirants, but that Agballah and Nnaji had refused to account for the monies despite agitations and protests by members of the party in the state.
“Since the third defendant (Nnaji) was nominated as the (governorship) candidate of the party, he has connived with the second defendant (Agballah) to misappropriate the funds of the party and run the affairs of the party with impunity.
“The second and third defendants misappropriated the $1.5 million given to the APC, Enugu State, as delegates’ allowances and failed to pay the money to the delegates. The second and third defendants appropriated the money for themselves instead,” he stated in the suit.
He is, therefore, seeking an order of the court directing Agballah and Nnaji to “render and publish a detailed account of the amount realised by the APC in Enugu State from the issuance and purchase of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms by the aspirants in the APC for the governorship position in Enugu State in the 2023 general election.”
The plaintiff is also pressing for an order of court directing Agballah and Nnaji to render and publish a detailed account of the use and proof of disbursement of the sum of $1.5 million released by the first defendant (APC) for the payment of allowances of the first defendant’s delegates from Enugu State to the National Convention and presidential primary election of the first defendant.”
Ude, who led a protest of aggrieved Enugu APC members against Chief Ugochukwu Agballah and Uche Nnaji at the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja, in January, also stated in the suit that, “By a letter dated August 19, 2022, the second defendant’s ward, the Udi/Agbudu Ward in Udi Local Government Area suspended the second defendant from being a member of the Ward and expelled him from the Ward and debarred him from holding party office in APC.
“This was as a result of the corruption and impunity perpetrated by the second defendant in handling the affairs and funds of the APC, Enugu State. Notwithstanding his suspension and expulsion from APC in his Ward, the second defendant continued to parade himself as the chairman of APC, Enugu State and to meddle in the affairs of the party with impunity and without authority.”