The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), yesterday, suspended its national chairman, Hon Isaac Chigozie Udeh, and two others over corruption allegations.
The NRM NEC accused Udeh of collecting various sums of money ranging from $25,000 to N250 million from the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for public endorsement.
Acting national secretary of NRM, Barr Obidike Okolo, disclosed this in Abuja, during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
He said: “Apart from the constitutional violations and breach which are apparent and need no proof, the above allegations, if true brings to the fore a glaringly disturbing level of corruption and official impunity that should for no conceivable reason be condoned or tolerated in any civilized society, not in the least our great party NRM where members are bleeding to death as a result of the unconscionable corruption, high handedness and impunity of the national chairman and his accomplices.
“Based on the totality of the foregoing and in compliance with the twin principles of natural justice to afford the National Chairman a fair hearing; and that the National Chairman cannot be a judge in his own case;
“NMC accordingly, recommends that the National Chairman should immediately be suspended and referred to the panel of inquiry already set up by the NMC to investigate the allegations.
“The National Chairman cannot preside over the affairs of the party while he is being investigated so that he will not interfere with the investigations while he will be afforded a fair hearing by the panel.
“Furthermore, NMC has reasons to believe that the 2 Deputy National Chairmen (North & South) are complicit in the above-mentioned constitutional violations either by omission, commission, or negligence. Accordingly, NMC recommends that the 2 National Deputy Chairmen (North & South) be suspended and referred to the investigative panel for investigation.”
In his remarks, the suspended chairman of the party, Isaac Chigozie Udeh, said that the party’s move to suspend him is illegal.
He said that he will not leave the office till the determination of the numerous petitions and cases against him in courts.
He said: “The PDP personally invited us to Adamawa State for us to discuss. We were there to discuss, they said no let us finish and come back. And for that reason, every chairman is supposed to speak one by one on the endorsement, but I refuse to do that.
“On the issue of money. Honestly, I have not and did not hear about anything money, nobody gave NRM or myself any money from PDP till date.
“When they came up with issues of money allegations, I ask them to provide evidence that I collected money, let us have evidence and there was no evidence, it’s just a mere allegation. They can’t suspend a chairman by mere allegations without investigation.
So, what I’m saying now, is that I have disagreed with that suspension. I’m not suspended.”
He said that the NRM Constitution is clear on who can suspend and process to suspend the national chairman.