The internal crisis rocking the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has taken a crucial twist, as Ben Nwoye, the State Chairman of the party, was on Thursday, February 16, 2018, detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Enugu, over allegations of misappropriation of over twenty million naira, released as far back as 2015 by the National Secretariat of the party, to purchase vehicles for both Women and Youth wing of the party in he state .
But on release, Nwoye accused Geoffrey Onyeama the minister of foreign affairs, and Juliet Ibekaku, the special adviser on Judicial Reforms to the President, as those behind his detention for their selfish pursuit of elective position from the party in 2019.
The Enugu State chapter of APC has been in leadership crisis since 2017, leading to the emergence of a factional Chairman, Adolphus Ude, who enjoys the support of the Minister and Special Assistant to the President.
The AUTHORITY gathered that Nwoye’s invitation and eventual detention by the EFCC was a result of a petition captioned,’ ‘Misappropriation of Enugu State APC Fund by Mr Ben Nwoye, Chairman of All Progressives Congress, written by a group of concerned Women stakeholders of the party, under the aegis of ‘Forum of APC Women Leaders’, Enugu State chapter.
The petition alleged that Nwoye misappropriated over Twenty Million and Four Hundred Thousand given by the National Secretariat of the party, which was meant for the purchase of vehicles for both the Women and Youth wings of the party, to enhance their grassroots campaigns and mobilization for the 2015 general election.
But when Dr Nwoye was eventually left off the hook at about 7pm. Nwoye, who denied the allegations told a select group of news men, that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Barr. Mrs Juliet Ibekaku, the Special Adviser on Judicial Reforms to President Muhammadu Buhari, were those behind his travails at EFCC, citing their pecuniary interest within the party at the state level as reasons.
He said, “Juliet, who was once a director in the EFCC used her connection and contact and illegally corrupted certain individuals and having them to invite me to Benin, but thanks to God that we have honest people within the EFCC, and so, that petition was transferred, but the intent was to detain me in Benin in an effort to blackmail me, tarnish my name, in retaliation for my call for the removal of the minister. So, it was orchestrated as a retaliatory act against my person, but due to the honestly of men and women in the EFCC, they transferred it to Enugu.
“I was invited by the EFCC, but what struck me was that the invitation came from Benin, with a forwarding letter that I should report to Benin; it was in December. Upon investigation, I came to find out that it was a falsehood orchestrated by Juliet Ibekaku, working in consonance with the minister for Foreign Affairs, in an attempt to remove me from an office I was elected.
But in a swift reaction, Adolphus Ude, the pioneer deputy chairman of APC in Enugu State, who presently leads a faction advised the embattled Chairman to go and defend himself appropriately at the EFCC, and to stop attributing the cause of his woes to either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Special Assistant to the president.