Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) postponed the screening of its presidential aspirants to May 23 to allow former President Goodluck Jonathan and others to submit their nomination forms after the deadline, SaharaReporters has learnt.
It was learnt that the party had also told the screening committee that they were not to screen Presidential aspirants.
The screening was supposed to take place on Sunday but was later postponed.
The party had also closed the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms last Thursday, while the deadline for the submission of the forms was midnight on Friday.
However, APC National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu in a statement on Saturday announced that the screening of the presidential aspirants had been shifted to May 23.
“The screening for the presidential aspirants, we have so far 28 presidential aspirants.
“As you are all aware, some aspirants have started withdrawing their aspirations. By God’s grace, on the 23rd of this month, those who are left will be screened properly,” he had said.
A party source, however, told SaharaReporters on Monday that the action was taken to allow Jonathan to submit his nomination and expression of interest forms.
“They did that because they want to give room for Goodluck Jonathan and a few others to submit their forms after the deadline,” the source said.
“The party has also told the screening committee that they are not to screen Presidential aspirants.”
A Northern coalition had purportedly purchased the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the former President.
The forms were purchased days after Jonathan had asked his supporters to “watch out” after he was asked if he would contest.
SaharaReporters’ investigation later revealed that Jonathan had given the Jigawa State governor, Mohammed Badaru, N200 million to purchase the nomination and expression of interest forms for him and also buy for himself, to deceive Nigerians.
Jonathan was said to have already joined the Bayelsa chapter of the APC.