By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Indications emerged at the Weekend that Edo State government has perfected arrangements to bring up criminal charges against the arrested All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairmanship aspirant in Egor Local Government Area, Mr. Efe Stewart.
Efe was whisked away by operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) after he personally protested the alleged imposition of Ms. Eghe Ogbemudia who is a daughter of the Governor of the defunct Midwesten and Bendel states, late Samuel Ogbemudia, as the Candidate during last Wednesday party primary election which ended in a fiasco.
The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) had slated 3rd March 2018 for the 18 Local Government elections. But, the Peoples who had threatened to boycott the poll and asked the court to determine whether the state House of Assembly was right to reduce the notice for the poll from 90 Days to 45 Days.
Irked by the so-called consensus arrangement of the party, APC supporters in the Local Government, allegedly held the former deputy governor of the state, Lucky Imasuen, the House of Assembly member representing Egor Constituency, the APC Senatorial leader and the former state Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon hosted for over one hour.
The detained Aspirant was reportedly handed over to Police on Thursday on order of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki whose silence bears a scant relation to crises that characterized last Wednesday APC primary election in the state, especially in Esan North East, Owan East and Egor Local Government Areas of the state, calls for concern in preparatory for the 2019 general election.
A dependable source informed our Correspondent that a top state government official had been mandated to go to court on Monday 29th January 2018 to testify against Efe Stewart who is due to a pear in court soon.
The revealed that “they decided to keep him (Efe) in Police and raise charges against him to charge him to Magistrate court who will then receive and him in prison custody before they started waiting for Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) advice which may not come till the Local Government election is conducted and winners sworn-in”.
Another source said: “You know what the governor did to the former APC Youth Leader in the state. He does not care. So long, the decision satisfies his interest. But, Oshiomhole had advised him (Governor Obaseki) to stop throwing those who worked for the party – APC to prisons in the interest of the party ahead of 2019 general elections”.
“The governor had sent emissary to him (Efe Stewart) to plead with him to withdraw from the race. But, he replied them that he would rather remain in dentin than to give up his stolen mandate”, the source said.
Already, the state Chairman of APC, Anselm Ojezua, had assured aggrieved contestants and members to use the appropriate channels to appeal last Wednesday verdict which political pundits described as a charade.