The All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward Congress may have come and gone, but the aftermaths of the party’s congress has left chaos, irregularities, kidnapping, and alleged case of conspiracy and theft within its members.
In Delta State, the ward congress was scheduled to commence on Saturday May 5 at 9am, but in the process of sorting out the electoral materials for distribution to the 270 wards in the state for conduct of the congress, Chairman of the Ward and Local Government Congress Committee, Alhaji Sani Dododo discovered that 100 out of the 270 Ward Result Sheet Booklets were stolen.
Abusidiqu gathered that the electoral materials were kept in the custody of the Committee’s Secretary, Mr Usman Kutugi at his hotel room in Orchids Hotel, Asaba, to the exclusion of any other person.
While at this, State Chairman of the Party, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, reportedly received WhatsApp messages and pictures from one Godwin, revealing pictures of the booklets which were allegedly in possession of Engineer Sam Adjogbe, Executive Director, Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The messages also revealed how Adjoge transferred the electoral materials to another Engineer Leo Obobi, Acting State Publicity Secretary, some other unidentified persons in a hotel in Ugheli Local Government area of the State
To unravel the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of the booklets from Kutugi’s hotel room in Asaba, to another hotel in Ugheli, a one hour drive from Asaba, the Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Mustafa, dispatched a team of Crime Detectives to the scene of the missing items.
The process to unravel the missing 100 results booklets recorded a violent reaction from opposition camp allegedly sponsored by Olorogun Otega Emerhor and Hon. Voctor Oschei, as over 400 heavily armed thugs laid siege on Orchids hotel, demanding that the remaining congress materials be released to them.
Abusidiqu gathered that the refusal of the Congress Committee Chairman to yield to the thugs request left many injured including Dr. Janet Oyubu, State Women Leader; Comrade Chuks Erhire Director General of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege’s Constituency Office; Mr Julius Akpovoka Efeni, and Barrister Ejiro Etaghene.
However, the immediate deployment of mobile forces by the State’s police command restored peace and security to the hotel and environs.
Due to the missing electoral materials, the Committee Chairman, rescheduled the congress for Sunday May 6, which was duly observed by officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and was reported peaceful except in Ugheli South Ward 10, where a Chairmanship aspirant was allegedly murdered by unknown gunmen.
While waiting for the collation of results from the field, Chairman of the Congress Committee discovered that two members of the congress committee, Mr. Kutugi, and Kassim Mahmud, a member of the committee were nowhere to be found. It became a cause of concern as both were in possession of the remaining sensitive materials which include the summary result sheets.
Again, the Congress Chairman, Mr. Dododo reported their sudden disappearance to the Police and the Department of State Security Service (DSS). The deployment of tracking devices to monitor their phones revealed they were in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State while they were supposed to be in Asaba, Delta State, for the APC ward congress.
Meanwhile, the police incident report on the disappearance of the missing booklets, exclusively obtained by Abusidiqu read: “We note that preliminary findings at Orchids Hotel where the Committee was staying revealed that the Secretary’s (Kutugi) room was not burgled or broken into. The hotel’s Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footages showed that the Secretary (as the last occupant of the room) left the room with a big loaded Ghana-Must-Go bag and returned to his room with the bag empty.”
The police report added that Mr. Kutugi and Mr. Mahmoud absconded to unknown destination with all the necessary and sensitive election materials till the end of all the ward congress in the state without any explanation.
“From the investigation carried out, it’s clear that Mr. Usman Kutugi and Mr. Kasheem Mamoud have been bought over to compromise the result of the ward congress. A case of kidnapping cannot be established against Mr. Kutugi and Mr Mamoud.
“Based on the sudden disappearance of Mr. Usman Kutugi. The Chairman of the Congress Committee applied doctrine of necessity to collect the result from all the Wards in the presence of the State Party Chairman and all other Stakeholders involved in the exercise and declared the result on Monday 7th 2018,” a report signed by the Delta State Police Commissioner reads.
It added: “It is evidently clear that Mr. Kutugi and Mr. Mamoud were not kidnapped but compromised their responsibilities and a case of Conspiracy and Stealing of the Congress sensitive materials have been established against them.”