Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the forthcoming election in Edo State, Dr Isaiah Osifo has expressed dissatisfaction over the choice of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), citing the candidate’s current involvement in a N700 million money laundering case brought by the EFCC.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four other defendants are standing trial at the Federal High Court, Benin, for a fraud case instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The four other defendants in the suit are former Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Dan Orbih, state PDP chairman Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony.
Dr Osifo expressed his misgivings while speaking on what he tagged ‘APC taking Edo State voters for granted’ in Benin.
The LP candidate said that it is a show of shame for a party which prides itself on its anti-corruption bona fides to have fielded a candidate currently standing criminal trial in court over money laundering to the tune of N700 million.
‘We think this is an insult to the anti-corruption policy of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari,’ the candidate said.
‘Behavioural science is committed to two aspects of any individual or organisational behaviour. The “Act” and the “intent”, Osifo continued. ‘What should be the intention of APC, the ruling political party in Nigeria that is loud on its anti-corruption crusade in choosing a candidate that is undergoing criminal trials on money laundering?’
Osifo said that giving the fact that the APC governorship candidate is standing trial, it is proper that Ize-Iyamu steps down and abandon his decision to contest in the coming election pending his vindication in court.
‘The rules in all responsible public service, including the rules in Nigeria public service, require a public servant undergoing criminal inquiry to step aside until the final resolution of the matter,’ Osifo said.
The LP governorship candidate said he decided to challenge the choice of the APC’s governorship candidate because it is his party’s (LP) responsibility to enlighten and educate the public on the need to halt what he characterised as desperate people who have nothing to offer other than blind pursuit of personal aggrandisement.