The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has written to the Nigeria Police Force complaining over the theft of its original party registration certificate issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The letter of complaint was said to have been written by the National Secretary of the party, Engr. Buba Galidima to the Utako police station in the Federal Capital (FCT).
Confirming the move by the party's leadership Tuesday, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin told THISDAY in a telephone interview that the party took the step to report the enstranged pioneer national chairman, Senator Rufai Hanga to the police for illegally withholding the certificate.
“Yes, the party has reported to the police over its missing certificate of registration which the former chairman, Senator Hanga has been keeping illegally since he was eased out of office,” he said.
One of the critical elements in the on-going political party merger processes, which the oppositon coalition is embarking on, is the requirement that each of the parties should be ready to submit back to INEC its original certificate of registration.
However, THISDAY gathered that as part of measures to ensure that the opposition merger does not suffer any set-back, the CPC leaders decided to seek the assistance of the police to help retrieve the party's certificate said to be “missing” from their archives.
It was learnt that Galadima had requested the police to give the party a covering note, which would enable it apply for a certified true copy from INEC.
But contrary to Galadima’s position, the aggrieved faction of the party led by Hanga said the original registration certificate had always been in their possession since the inception of the party
The spokesman of the Hanga-led faction, Chief Dennis Ahganya told THISDAY that the group was in rightful custody of the certificate since they have a pending court action challenging the authenticity of the Prince Tony Momoh-led national executive of the CPC.
“This is criminality as a result of desperation, even when it was deposed to in all our affidavits that the original certificate is with us and the copy is attached. INEC is not stupid to fall for such gimmicks,” he said.
Aghanya recalled that Fashakin had in one of his recent press statements claimed that the original certificate was with the national leader of the party, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and wondered how the certificate suddenly went missing from their archives.
“We are still waiting to see how many more lies they will tell to cover up all their lies. We are not against the merger, although we were not carried along by those championing the cause.
“But we are determined to claim our party and ensure that it is well repositioned for all subsequent elections, including the Anambra State governorship election in September 2013,” he said.
Aghanya said his group also intends to visit the National Assembly leadership to plead with them and remind them of the damage they are doing to the image of the country’s democracy by not readmitting the CPC parliamentary members from Katsina State who were returned by the court.