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PVC Forgery: Tinubu Withdraws Support for Okpebholo

… Considers backing Akpata, Ighodalo

By Yahaya Idris

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THERE are strong indications that President Tinubu may have lost interest and withdrawn his support for Monday Okpebholo as APC Governorship Candidate in Edo State following several controversies trailing his personal records and eligibility to contest the forthcoming September 21st Governorship Election in the State.

Insider sources in Aso Rock reveal that President Tinubu is not happy with the reports he is getting from Edo State regarding Okpebholo and has expressed his displeasure to the State leader of the Party, Former Governor Adams Oshiomhole in a meeting at the villa last weekend. The President is worried about the lackadaisical attitude of the candidate towards the election and queried why he could not perfect his PVC registration process with INEC before the news hit public domain knowing that he will contest Election in September.

The APC Governorship Candidate, Okpebholo has been enmeshed in several controversies including a recent PVC Forgery saga that could lead to his disqualification as a Candidate. A leading Online Newspaper, Sahara Reporters had exclusively reported that Sen. Okpebholo’s name is conspicuously missing on INEC’s official voter verification portal and he is not registered to vote in any of the 18 local governments in Edo State, including his home local government of Esan Central.

The report revealed that the name and particulars submitted by Sen. Okpebholo in his Form EC9 affidavit, which was deposed before a Federal High Court in Abuja and subsequently published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), could not be found anywhere on the commission’s voter verification portal.

“Baba is not happy with Okpebholo. He feels he is not a serious candidate given his seeming inability to get the party together to launch a campaign few weeks to election. He is further displeased by the fact that Okpebholo could not even get registered for Permanent Voters Card(PVC) to enable him vote and be voted for in the State” The Source disclosed.

The source further hinted that the president is mulling his options; given his widely reported longstanding personal relationship with Asue Ighodalo and his business interests with Akpata all dating back to his days as Governor of Lagos State.

Meanwhile a Civil Rights Group, Action Africa for Electoral Reforms & Good Governance(AAERG) has called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate the allegations of PVC forgery levelled against APC Candidate, Monday Okpebholo.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the Country lead, Josiah Oladeinde, the group maintained that it is a crime to vote without being registered. They stated that Section 114(g) of the Electoral Act prohibits such electoral malpractice and therefore demand that the Senator be arrested, prosecuted and jailed if found guilty.

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