Labour Party governorship candidate (LP), in the forthcoming election in Edo state, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, has said that fielding a candidate facing corruption trial by the All Progressives Congress in the election is a mockery of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship’s candidate of the APC and four others are currently standing trial in the Federal High Court, Benin over an alleged N700m fraud preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
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The four other defendants in the suit are former Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dan Orbih, state PDP chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony.
Addressing journalists on Thursday in Benin, Dr. Osifo said it is a show of shame for the party that prides itself as fighting corruption to have fielded a candidate who is currently standing corruption trial.
“I decided to challenge the choice of the APC’s governorship candidate because as Labour party, it is our responsibility to enlighten and educate the public on the need to halt desperate people who have nothing to offer other than blind pursuit of personal aggrandisement,” he said.
He urged Edo people to vote wisely, not allowing APC to deceive them to vote for a candidate who is enmeshed in corruption charges.
Responding, the spokesperson, Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu campaign organisation, John Mayaki said Ize-Iyamu is an unblemished candidate for the election.
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is an unblemished candidate respected by all. The case that has been distorted and unfairly tied to Pastor Ize-Iyamu for political reasons has to do with the EFCC investigations of how the PDP managed privately-sourced campaign funds in 2015,” he said.
He said members of the PDP are are also parties to the case, saying that Ize-Iyamu has gone on the record to clarify things and will be cleared soon by the court because there is no evidence of wrongdoing.