How Buni sold Anambra APC Governorship ticket for N1.5 billion

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APC
APC
Spining

More facts have emerged on how the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) sold the party’s Governorship ticket in Anambra State to Senator Andy Uba for N1.5 billion.

The money made by members of the APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from Anambra State Governorship aspirants was one of the reasons why they decided to sit tight and not let go of their positions.

The CECPC had made an estimated N7 billion from the Governorship primary in Anambra State alone.

Apart from the official N22.5 million for nomination and expression of interest forms, hundreds of millions of naira were fraudulently collected from all the aspirants.

In their calculations, if they could make so much money from just 14 Governorship aspirants in one State, one could imagine what they would make from State House of Assembly, Federal House of Representative, Senatorial and Governorship Aspirants from the 36 States of the Federation ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Governor Buni had confided in members of the CECPC that he would not contemplate going back to Yobe State as the amount he collected from Anambra State politicians was more than what he takes home from the Yobe State coffers.

The ultimate plan was to relinquish his position as the Governor of Yobe State and fully become the National Chairman of APC.

Senator Andy Uba’s Governorship ambition was the personal project of National Chairman, Mai Buni ,AGF Malami and Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State.

Governor Buni allegedly stuck out his neck for Senator Uba as a payback for a “favour” done him by Andy Uba in 2017 when he ran for Governor and lost to Dr Tony Nwoye at the APC primary. Buni was the then National Secretary of the APC.

Andy Uba had gone back to Buni asking for a refund of the favour an action which a former Senate President who connected him to Buni frowned at. The man told Andy Uba not to ask for a refund of the favour as Buni might be useful in future.

Fast forward to 2021, Andy Uba decided to run again and providence made it that Buni was now the National Caretaker Chairman of the APC.

This time around it was agreed that Andy Uba be given the APC Governorship ticket in Anambra even if it means circumventing due process, but that will come with a price.

Millions of US dollars were alleged to have exchanged hands among the 14 aspirants jostling for the APC Governorship ticket in Anambra and members of the CECCP.

Of significance was the bulk payment of $1 million given to Governor Buni and members of the caretaker committee by an aspirant and business man Dr Chido Nwankwo which caused quite alot of trouble among the members.

So if Buni’s preffered candidate, Senator Andy Uba was to get the ticket he had to spend much more higher than that.

A deal was struck and a price of N1.5 billion was agreed. Andy Uba provided the amount which was shared among the members of the CCECP and they threw caution to the wind.

Senator Hope Uzodimma was brought into the project with the expectation that he can re-enact the Imo magic that made him Governor after coming a distant 4th in the election.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun was sent to do the hatchet job as the Chairman of the APC electoral panel for Anambra State Governorship primaries.

A result was prepared in Imo State Governor’s lodge by and ferried into Awka by midnight on the day of the primary election which never took place in any of the 326 wards in Anambra State

Governor Abiodun announced results from room 251 of Golden Tulip Hotel Agulu on facebook live even when no primary was conducted.

Party leaders cried foul, including Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige. Other aspirants protested but it all fell on deaf ears.

A primary election appeal committee was set up. They met all aspirants, went through the INEC reports and concluded that no primary took place in Anambra on June 26th.

They recommended that since the time allowed for primaries has elapsed, the party should opt for consensus.

Their report was submitted to the leadership through the National Secretary, John AkpanUdoedehe who used to be Andy Uba’s doorman when he was an aide to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Pages 14 and 15 of the report which Stated their was no primary election and called for a consensus candidate to be picked was removed from the report by the National Secretary and submitted to the CCECP.

At this point, the President refused to see Senator Uba haven gone through Security and INEC reports that confirmed no primary took place.

The President’s hands were tied because he could not unilaterally take decisions on a matter considered to be the party’s internal affair.

Further meetings were held. The President directed for the matter to be resolved. APC Governors intervened, they all agreed on consensus. The President was out of the country so they needed final clearance from him. The President also needed legal counsel from the AGF.

The AGF who incidentally was part of the Andy Uba project, gave “wise counsel” that the ticket be left untouched.

The President whi had earlier traveled out of the country, returned and refused to see Senator Uba still.

Governor Hope Uzodimma moved in. He is among the very few Governors that has unrestricted access to the President. The thinking was that once he is made the Chairman of the Campaign Council, he will easily make the President agree to see Senator Uba.

Uzodinma was made the Chairman of the campaign council. President Buhari still refused to see Senator Uba.

Few weeks later, Governor Hope pulled more strings and the President reluctantly agreed to see Senator Andy Uba and hand him over the party’s flag.

Pictures were taken. Andy Uba finally had all he wanted.

Andy Uba then proceeded to meet high profile individuals in Anambra with the aim of luring them to join APC.

First was Senator Joy Emordi, a former member of the National Assembly. Andy Uba approached her and told her he has already been ordained the next Governor of Anambra State by the Presidency. That she should quickly join in order not to miss out in the next administration. He told her election results have already been written, waiting to be announced. Senator Emordi joined though with some reservations. She told Andy Uba, they must go to the field and campaign to which Andy Uba refused.

He approached Senators Uche Ekwunife and Stella Oduah separately. He told them that he is already the next Governor of Anambra State. He asked them to make their demands from his government.

In the case of Stella Oduah, he assured her that the running battle she has with the Economic and Financial Commission(EFCC) will be a thing of the past as soon as she joins the APC.

According to Andy Uba, the Attorney General of the Federation who had already sanctioned him as the next Governor of Anambra will simply file a Nolle prosequi in her matter.

The Federal Government will file to the court that they are unwilling to pursue the matter, voluntarily ending the criminal case.

Senator Oduah fell and was taken to Governor Hope Uzodinma and then the National Chairman, Mala Mai Buni. Fruitful discussions were held and another round of pictures taken and circulated.

In the case of Senator Uche Ekwunife, she refused to budge. She clearly told them that it was difficult for Andy Uba to win an election in Anambra and that nobody can write election results in present day Nigeria. The Senator representing Anambra Central refused to dump PDP for APC.

Then came members of the House of Assembly who flew into Abuja with the South-East youth leader of APC, Olisaemeka to meet with Andy Uba. Senator Uba was unwilling to deal at first until Governor Hope Uzodinma intervened and insisted they met with them. They were promised N100 million each. The first installment of N30 million each was given to the 6 House members with the promise to spread the remaining in installments of N10 million each for 7 months.

They were told to fish for more State House of Assembly members.

With this in the pocket, Andy Uba approached Hon Ifeanyi Ibezim who was already aggrieved with the way he was being sidelined in APGA. The deal cost Uba $200, 000. Ifeanyi Ibezim joined and was immediately announce the Deputy DG of the Andy Uba campaign Organization. APC members kicked but were told to keep quiet and follow “instructions from the Presidency”

Then followed members of the House of Representatives like Chris Azubogu, Okwudili Ezenwankwo, Linda Ikpeazu and a host of others. Andy Uba will call them to a private meeting, brandishing an already written result for the yet to be conducted Anambra State Governorship election.

According to sources in some of the meetings, Andy Uba will always say, he will be announced winner the way he was announced winner of the APC primaries and nothing would happen.

Preparations were in top gear for the flag off of the APC Governorship campaigns in Anambra State. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was billed to grace the occasion according to APC tradition(in APC the VP attends Governorship campaign flag-offs while the President attends the grand finale)

A week to the event, the VP summoned Andy Uba to brief him on preparations for the campaign flag-off.

Prof Osinbajo asked Senator Uba how they had managed the fallout of the APC Governorship primary that never held to which Uba told him that all the aggrieved aspirants have been settled with huge sums of money without knowing that the VP was in close contact with some of the aspirants.

The pastor and professor of Law was shocked to the marrows when Andy Uba told him that the election result is already with him waiting to be announced.

Prof Osinbajo was said to have summoned some of the Govenorship aspirants to a meeting where they told him face to face that no agreement has been reached with Andy Uba.

The VP then opened up to them and said he has never felt this insulted in his life that a man will sit across the same table with him, look him in the eye and tell him he has written election results. It was there and then than the VP called off his attendance of the Andy Uba campaign flag off.

APC Governors pulled out too after contacting Senator Chris Ngige who told them he wont be attending. According to them, they decided to leave Anambra election matter to Buni, Malami and Governor Hope Uzodinmma to go and deliver.

Violence spiked in Anambra, prominent individuals were killed, Malami flew the kite of declaring State of Emergency in Anambra which was part of the grand plan to foist Andy Uba on the State(Andy was being fingered as a sponsor of some of the violence in the State).

Governor Obiano rushed to Abuja to meet President Buhari who assured him no State of Emergency will be declared and that he had put in all necessary measures to ensure the election was free and fair.

The President confided in Obiano that he was not in support of what transpired on June 26th in the name of APC primary and that he will not be involved in perpetuating illegality.

Already there has been a security report that Senator Andy Uba was using the President’s name to perpetuate all sorts of illegalities leading to the election. The Presidency decided to withdraw support.

Obiano came out of the meeting, with a big smile on his face, shinning his eyes and declaring “APC does not exist in Anambra”.

As soon as Governor Obiano returned from Abuja where he got a firm assurance from President Muhammadu Buhari that the Governorship election will not be rigged, he summoned an emergency APGA meeting at the Government House, Awka.

The Andy Uba group heavily relied on external help from Governor Hope Uzodinmma of Imo, Mala Mai Buni of Yobe and AGF Malami.

Everything about Andy Uba’s Governorship ambition was centered on “make-belief” and “name-dropping”.

A larger than life-image of Andy Uba which wad created a long time ago needed to be sustained. Lies were deployed. Fake phone calls were made to non-existing individuals at the other end of the call after which Andy Uba will pass instructions from the Presidency to his team while the victims listened.

On a few occasions, authentic steps were taken. For example, the AGF had to write the EFCC requesting for the case file of Senator Stella Oduah to be sent to its office for review. That was all Senator Oduah needed to throw in all her support for Andy Uba.

The group’s modus operandi was simple.

Before you are ushered into a meeting with “The incoming Governor”, your phone will have to be taken from you to avoid the conversations being recorded.

You will be kept waiting for a while, sometimes running into hours depending on how prominent you are. “The incoming” was
busy.

When he eventually avails himself, you will be regaled with stories of how Andy Uba was instrumental to a reconciliation between Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Buhari. How the reconciliation eventually led to a halt in the letters being written by Obasanjo against the Buhari administration and how it was decided that Buhari settles Obasanjo by making his son, Andy Uba, the Governor of Anambra State.

You will be told how this was why Obasanjo agreed with the party hierarchy to send the Governor of his State, Ogun, Dapo Abiodun to come and announce Andy Uba winner of the June 26th APC Governorship primary that never held. And how despite all the protestations from Chris Ngige and other aspirants, nothing happened.

You will also be told how the whole arrangement is beyond Anambra State Governorship election as the North is looking for an Igbo man to succeed Buhari in 2023 and have eventually settled for Senator Andy Uba. Anambra State Governorship was just a mere preparation ground to making Andy Uba President in 2023.

Text and Whatsapp message exchanges between and among “prominent Nigerians” on how Andy Uba would be made Governor will be shown to you.

To cap it all, election results will be dangled or flashed on your face to finally convince you “na edechago result”

The intention is for you to go out there and relay this interesting encounter to as many people as possible to create an impression that their is no need for a contest.

While you are on your way out, some other people will approach you and impress on you the need for you to contribute so as not to be left out in the incoming administration.

The same process was used to extort money from many prominent Nigerians whom Senator Uba paid private visits to, mostly in Lagos.

Many businessmen contributed hundreds of millions of Naira to buy their stake in the next administration. Some contributions were not even acknowledged as they were considered too small.

It is said that some under-hand tactics were also deployed in getting some key Federal agencies/parastatals to donate a total of N5 billion to the Igwebuike group through the CBN. That particular transaction is currently being investigated.

During his time at the Senate, while colleagues were jostling for juicy positions as Committee Chairmen, Andy chose to be Senate Committee Chairman on INEC.

All he cared about was how to win elections.

The Senator had made quite a few friends at INEC so had access.

Authentic election results were already cloned. All that was needed was to write a different result from the one obtained from the field and present it as the real one.

With both results sharing similar serial numbers, party agents who have been paid across party lines will be required to authenticate Senator Uba’s result with an affidavit for a fee.

Once you are paid to swear an affidavit confirming Uba’s result as authentic you cannot come to the tribunal to say otherwise as that will amount to lying under oath.

But what the group did not take into consideration was the electronic transmission of result which makes it difficult for authentic polling unit results to be changed during collation as they would have already been posted online.

However, the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood will not take chances. He heard result sheets have been cloned. He kept his game close to his chest and flew in fresh result sheets from the CBN on election morning. The new result sheets had 3 signatories and was quite different from the one already in possession of the Igwebuike group.

The compromised result sheets were pulled out from the field.

That was it. Andy Uba was stranded. It was all over.

Anambra people voted in what is adjudged the freest and fairest election and Soludo was announced winner.

After the Anambra State Governorship election loss, the next plot was how to seize the party structure at the National level tl enable them field candidates for various positions in the 36 States of the Federation.

The game-plan was to continue shifting the proposed date of the National Convention so as to eventually conduct it the same day with the Presidential primaries.

A court order was procured and hidden from everybody with the intention to bring it out few days to the proposed March 26th date.

The list of members of the Convention sub-committees were single handedly compiled by National Secretary of the Caretaker committee Akpanudoedehe with inputs from Senator Andy Uba.

Of importance was the members of the screening committee who were carefully handpicked by Senator Andy Uba. The plan was to scree out any aspirant who they were not comfortable with.

Senator Hope Uzodinma was made Chairman of the screening appeal committee with 90% of the members carefully handpicked by Senator Andy Uba.

Everything was set for the group till President Buhari intervened.

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