A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Ayodele Oludiran, has petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, over the ‘ineligibility’ of Governor Dapo Abiodun as the candidate of the party in 2023.
Mr Oludiran, in the petition signed on April 12, said Mr Abiodun’s candidacy would portend danger for the APC with the damning allegations against him.
According to an acknowledged copy of the petition sighted by our correspondent, Mr Oludiran maintained that Mr Abiodun was accused of “concealing criminal offences he allegedly committed in the USA in the 1980s.”
The petitioner told Mr Adamu that a former prominent member of the APC, who just defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, had boasted that he has damning evidence, such as the incident card and the mugshot of Mr Abiodun, in his possession.
“This individual, also from the same Senatorial District as the subject matter, is confident that the incumbent will be disqualified by the courts to pave way for him to clinch the governorship seat.”
Mr Oludiran noted that there are discrepancies in Forms CF001 the governor filled in 2015 and 2019 with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said there are discrepancies in the educational qualifications Mr Abiodun submitted to INEC.
According to him, while contesting for governor in 2019, Mr Abiodun claimed he attended International Primary School Ayetoro in 1971. But four years earlier, while he was running for Senate, the governor submitted another primary school, Comprehensive High Schoole Ayetoro Primary School, in 1971.
“All efforts to locate both schools, which would have been in the present Ekiti State or Ogun State – of the Old Western Region of Nigeria – proved impossible,” Mr Oludiran said.
“I submit that if he indeed had attended any of the above-stated schools, he would have been consistent while filling the INEC forms.
“His claim to have attended non-existent schools in 1971 also amounts to lying on oath and presenting a false certificate to INEC which are very potent grounds for disqualification as enshrined in Section 182 (1) (j) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
The APC member informed Mr Adamu that “Abiodun’s profile can only best be described as a bundle of consistent inconsistencies.”
The petitioner referred the APC Chairman to Mr Abiodun’s Form CF001 submitted to INEC in 2015, where he indicated under oath that he attended the University of Ife (now known as Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1986.
He said in the Form CF001 submitted to INEC in 2019; he made no mention of the University.
“My inquiries at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, revealed that HE, Prince Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun never even graduated from the University of Ife. It beggars belief why he would say he did in his form CF001 in 2015.
“No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if: (i) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Mr Oludiran said: “Abiodun lied about his indictment and imprisonment in 1986.”
He said the police arrested one Shawn Michael Davis in July 1986 at the American Express Travellers Office in Florida for forgery, altering a forged Travellers Cheque, grand theft and theft of a credit card belonging to John A. Moruay.
In November 1986, Mr Oludiran continued, security agents arrested one Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun, a male security guard, for forgery, altering forged instrument and resisting arrest with violence.
During investigations, the police found that Mr Abiodun was the same person as Michael Shawn Davis.
“Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun was thereafter indicted for the offence of credit card fraud in Miami Dade, Florida, USA, and remanded in jail as a repeat offender with jail number: 860089436.”
Mr Oludiran expressed concern that Mr Abiodun in 2015 and 2019 claimed in his INEC forms CF001, under oath, that he had never been under any sentence of imprisonment, fine for any offence of dishonesty or fraud or any offence imposed by a court. He said the claims are false.
“I, therefore, make a call for his disqualification from any future elective position in the All Progressives Congress.”
Governor Abiodun reacts
Reacting through his lawyer, Afe Babalola and Co, Mr Abiodun insisted that his conviction was not sufficient for his disqualification from the coming election.
He argued that the Nigerian Constitution does not disqualify persons whose convictions occurred ten years before the election date.
“In any event, assuming but not conceding that our client was even convicted in 1986, he would still not be affected or caught by Section 182 (1) (e) of the CFRN because the CFRN requires that the conviction which would disqualify a person from the position of the governor must have occurred ten years before the date of election to the office.”