By DOUGLAS OKORO
ABAKALIKI- Mr Tochukwu Okorie, the embattled Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi chapter has described his alleged suspension by some members of the State Executive Committee (SEC) as a ‘huge joke.’
Okorie, at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abakaliki, noted that the allegation of financial impropriety levelled against him by ‘dissident’ members of the SEC was libelous adding that he had briefed his lawyers on the matter.
The party leader therefore urged PDP faithful, supporters and the general public to ignore and disregard the purported suspension and alleged financial impropriety made against him.
He said: “The allegations of financial impropriety against my person is libellous, a huge joke and I have briefed my solicitors accordingly.”
Okorie was allegedly suspended by some members of the SEC in an emergency meeting it held on July 4 which was presided over by Mr Ifeanyi Nworie, the state deputy chairman of the party for allegedly misappropriation of party fund to the tune of N55 million.
Okorie while reacting to the alleged suspension and allegation of financial misappropriation, noted that a sum of N50 million was withdrawn by Mr Silas Onu when he was removed briefly in office by a Federal High Court in Abakaliki on April 13.
According to him, while the appeal was pending in Court of Apppeal, and in disregard to a letter to the management of the Access bank advising against having any financial dealing with Onu who was recognised by a federal high court judgement as chairman.
He said: “Before I left, I got brief of what was about to happen and my lawyers immediately sent a caveat in other words a pre-warning to Access bank telling the bank that there should be no dealing in that account whatsoever way either by me or anyone else.
“Because there was a pending case, any matter of PDP is subjudice and the letter was sent and duly acknowledged, but not withstanding the letter, Onu by hook or by crook gained access to the fund.
” By the Appeal Court ruling of May 24, Mr Silas Onu was never a chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi and has no right to access the party’s fund.
“I cannot be accused of any financial misappropriation because I legitimately did what I had to do as the chairman of the party for the party to move forward.”
Okorie said that SEC received a memo for the ratification of the suspension of certain members of the SEC over alleged infractions adding that the memo was based on the decision of the SEC following a petition brought by one Mr Reuben Okuri of Akaezeukwu ward.
He listed the affected members to include; Messrs Ifeanyi Nworie (state dep. chairman), Mr Chika Nwoba (Publicity secretary), Mr Mudiaga Erhenede (Legal Adviser) and Obinna Iteshi (Treasurer).
“The above-named persons are accused of infractions as outlined in Section 58 (1) of the Constitution of the PDP 2017 as amended.
“The petitioner had also attached a sworn affidavit in support of his petition. SEC unanimously approved and ratified the suspension for the period of one month as presented in the memo,” he said.
Okorie commended resilience of the party members for standing up against plots by some elements in the party to destroy it.
“SEC appreciates and commends the resilience of the teeming members of the PDP and indeed the entire good people of Ebonyi who have doggedly insisted on standing with the party in the face of the ferocious onslaughts constantly launched against it by enemies within and outside.
“SEC wishes to assure Ndi Ebonyi that no amount of hooliganism will distract from our determination to kick out APC from Ebonyi Government House come 2023.
“To this end, SEC enjoins our people to stay focused, eyes on the ball and refuse to be distracted, intimidated and or cajoled as they prepare to cast their votes in forthcoming elections,” he said.” (NAN)