The Oredo Local Government Area All Progressives Congress (APC) has expelled General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd.) from the party after a report from the panel it set up to investigate allegations of anti-party activities levelled against the one-time governorship aspirant of the party confirmed that he actually engaged in the act.
Following accusations from leaders and members of Oredo ward 01 APC against Airhiavbere and his subsequent suspension, the leadership of the party at the local government level set up a panel to investigate the veracity of the claim against the politician.
Airhiavbere who contested against Adam Oshiomhole for the governorship seat on the platform of the PDP in 2012 and lost in all 18 local government areas of the state was indicted by the panel which was chaired by Hon. Raymond Olaye.
The panel, inaugurated by chairman of Oredo LGA APC, Hon. Godswill Alabi, on 20th march, 2019, at the APC Secretariat, 33 Uwa Street, Off M. M. Way, was given the mandate to “ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the allegation of Anti-Party activities levelled against Gen. Airhiavbere during the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, by members of APC Ward 01 in the letter to the LGA chairman dated 15th March, 2019.”
In the earlier petition, the ward executives and members recommended the suspension of Gen. Airhiavbere from the party, and sought for the next line of disciplinary action from the party.
According to the panel’s final report, after its constitution, the letter to the Oredo LGA APC was reviewed and it invited Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), Samson Abu and Ward I Chairman, Ward I Executives and all members of the Ward, who are signatories to the letter, for further investigation.
“The letters were delivered in person by the Secretary of the Committee to the invitees, except Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd.) whose security detail received it on his behalf after signing the acknowledgement of the receipt of the letter.
“The panel continued sitting on 23rd March, 2019, with all the members present as well as all those invited except Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd.) who refused to appear before the panel,” it said in its report.
The panel added that all those invited were able to substantiate their allegations against Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) by oral evidence before the panel.
The panel explained that during the cross-examination, it found the following, “that Gen. Charles Airhiavbere deliberately withheld and delayed the release of party logistics to the various unit heads at Garrick and Uyiosa voting centers, which aversely hampered their ability to function effectively during the election on the 23rd of February, 2019.
“Gen. Charles Airhiavbere directed the unit heads at Garrick and Uyiosa voting centers to report to his house in the midst of the election which led to the abandonment of their duty post to create room for the opposition to exploit.
“That Gen. Charles Airhiavbere openly and systematically canvassed for vote for the opposition party and gave APC agent’s tags to his boys who had decamped to the PDP a week earlier.”
The panel consequently found “Gen. Charles Airhiavbere culpable of the allegations leveled against him by APC Ward 01, Oredo chapter. And that he breached Article 21A; II and III of the APC constitution as amended.”
It therefore elevated the punishment from suspension given at the ward level to expulsion owing to the gravity of the offence.
Other members of the panel include Hon. Mathew Ikponmwosa-Eagle, as Secretary; Chief Sunny Erhengbo, member; Mr. Emmanuel Aiguobasinmwin, member; Barr. Hope Ajayi; Mr. Finnan Ukwute, member and Mrs. Elizabeth Uwaifo as member.