The All Progressives Congress, Ondo State Chapter, has denied claims that it defrauded aspirants who sought to contest the botched Local Government elections in September 2018.
Mr Alex Kalejaiye, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, made the denial in a statement on Friday in Akure.
“The attention of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State has been drawn to a petition against the State chapter, by a group under the aegis of Conference of APC Councillorship Aspirants, to the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, calling for a refund of the money paid by its members to obtain forms, among others.
“We consider some of the allegations contained in the petition as harsh and unfounded.
“We are also not unaware that we hold the public explanation on what transpired, (and for the records), which is the basis for this reaction.
“It is a fact that following the announcement by the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission in September, last year, to conduct local councils’ election, the APC, as a responsible party, advertised sales of forms for interested aspirants.
“Many aspirants showed interest and did obtain the Expression of Interest forms, indicating readiness to participate in the said election.
“However, while the party was preparing for the election, the State electoral body said the date earlier set for the election was no longer feasible, citing reasons why it (polls) has to be postponed.
“To keep the local administration alive, the State Government opted for a Caretaker arrangement, in which members were drawn from the aspirants that had obtained the Expression of Interest form,” Kalejaiye stated.
According to him, the State Chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin, later met with the entire aspirants that obtained the forms and assured them of the party’s readiness for local councils’ election once the electoral body gave the green light.
He added that the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, had also met with the aspirants and assured them that the local government election would come up soon.