The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has departed London to Nigeria, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Multiple sources familiar with the ruling party’s chairman said he boarded a British Airways flight bound for Lagos from the British capital, and is expected to arrival later today.
The former Edo State governor met with the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, in London within the last two days. Mr Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, has been receiving medical treatment for undisclosed ailments in London, PREMIUM TIMES also learnt.
It was not immediately clear when Mr Oshiomhole left Nigeria, but his departure was largely speculated as being prompted by an investigation into how he handled the APC primaries across the country. The exercise held between September and October, producing the party’s candidates for presidential, governorship and legislative offices.
Several APC governors whom Mr Oshiomhole apparently blocked from nominating successors have been publicly fuming with the party chairman.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun have been particularly furious with Mr Oshiomhole, publicly accusing him of disregarding party’s constitution in the conduct of primaries and demanding his immediate removal.
Both Messrs Amosun and Okorocha believe Mr Oshiomhole has the backing of Mr Tinubu, whose influence over party affairs is widely acknowledged even though he does not hold a formal position.
Mr Oshiomhole has denied all allegations of fraud against him, and challenged whoever has issues with his leadership to leave the party. But law enforcement and intelligence sources have told PREMIUM TIMES Mr Oshiomhole has become a person of interest in recent weeks.
“We have received strong new materials which suggested him as an interesting individual who should be thoroughly investigated,” an intelligence source said. “We have commenced work in that regard.”
Mr Oshiomhole, who became the party’s chairman amidst controversial atmosphere in June, has been accused of taking bribes through political allies and blood relations to admit some politicians as the party’s candidates in 2019.
Some of his alleged proxies have been identified by law enforcement officers, but the political undertone of the probe has made it difficult to determine when they would be called in for questioning, especially as it would require approval up to the Presidency level to move against those involved, sources said.