The All Progressives Congress (APC) continued the screening of its presidential aspirants on Tuesday ahead of the party’s primary scheduled to take place between June 6 and 8.
A total of 11 presidential hopefuls are expected to appear before the APC Presidential Screening Committee led by a former Edo State governor and former APC national chairman, John Oyegun.
They include the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and oil magnate, Tein Jack Rich.
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Others are former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, former Minister of Information under the late General Sani Abacha regime, Ikeobasi Mokelu.
Former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, is also expected to appear before the panel after he was granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja in an alleged N2.9 billion fraud case being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
As of 1pm, only the presidential hopefuls — Professor Osinbajo, former Speaker Bankole, and Senator Akpabio — have visited the screening venue while others are still expected.
The APC panel had screened 12 presidential hopefuls in the course of the exercise expected to last two days at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Those who defended their presidential ambitions on Monday include Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa; former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; popular Pastor Tunde Bakare, former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu; and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
Others are former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former presidential candidate, Nicholas Felix; a female aspirant, Uju Ken-Ohanenye; Ondo North Senator, Ajayi Boroffice; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Governor David Umahi Ebonyi.
Channels Television had reported that 28 aspirants picked the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms sold at N100 million.
While the presidential hopefuls paid for the forms themselves in some cases, various interest groups purchased the nomination tickets for their preferred aspirants – a move that was rejected by some of the beneficiaries.
Among those who have publicly rejected the APC nomination and expression of interest forms purchased for them included the former President Goodluck Jonathan and the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Besides the duo, the APC has also dropped the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, from aspirants to be screened by its panel.