Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo and John Alechenu, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, is expected to return to the Department of State Services for further interrogation anytime he returns to the country, The PUNCH learnt on Thursday.
It was also gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the investigation of the former governor of Edo State by the security agency.
It was gathered that the President was informed by the Director-General of the DSS, Mr Yusufi Bichi, about the desire of the agency to grill Oshiomhole over allegations levelled against him by some aggrieved members of the party.
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Presidency sources told one of our correspondents that the President actually asked the secret police to “go ahead and do their job” when he was told about the allegations of the party chairman.
Oshiomhole, who became the national chairman of the party less than five months ago, has been having a running battle with some governors and leaders within the ruling party.
The leaders and the governors believed that the former governor did not handle the just concluded party primaries across the country well.
It was learnt that some of the governors, especially those who were unable to secure party tickets for their favourite candidates, had been mounting pressure on the President to overrule the party chairman on the choice of candidates from their states.
It was reported on Wednesday that the DSS grilled Oshiomhole for about nine hours between Sunday and Monday before he travelled out of the county.
Security sources confirmed to one of our correspondents that Oshiomhole would be expected to return for interrogation on his return to the country.
Investigations showed that the interrogation of Oshiomhole was kept secret because the DSS believed it was a party matter.
Apart from this, our correspondent gathered authoritatively that the DSS was planning to send the report of its investigations to the President alone.
The source said, “The comrade (Oshiomhole) is expected to return for further interrogation when he returns to the country. That’s why we released him on administrative bail.
“We are still looking at his statements and also carrying out further investigations. This type of operation is not meant for the members of the public.
“Rather, we will brief the President when the report is ready. Oshiomhole is the national chairman of the President’s political party. He deserves to know our report first.”
VON DG urges DSS to probe Oshiomhole’s call logs
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has urged the DSS to probe Oshiomhole ’s call logs for the period the party’s primaries lasted.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to join the DSS in looking into the financial transactions made by the party chairman within the period under review.
Okechukwu, who is a chieftain of the party in Enugu State, made the call at a media briefing at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.
He argued that recent revelations about the national chairman’s grilling by the DSS over allegations of financial impropriety were sufficient reasons for him to resign.
The VON DG said, “Penultimate week, I joined the league of APC moral leaders, faithful and men of good conscience to call on Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, to honourably resign forthwith as the chairmanship of our great party. In his usual narcissistic disposition, he refused.
“As the Oshiohmole Must Go wave raged, the Department of State Services got wind of it. They interrogated him and I patiently waited to read from Comrade Oshiomhole and his spin doctors over his tango with the DSS; in the social or main stream media, neither rebuttal nor denial came from them.
“I, therefore, once again stridently call on Comrade Oshiomhole to instead of pontification, grandstanding and running away from the country, do the needful by honourably resigning the chairmanship of our great party.”
Okechukwu said it would appear that the APC national chairman was running away from duty to evade the substitution window, meant to redress the grievances of party members who were “causalities of his nepotism.”
The party chieftain said the APC and the President would be the better for it if the Chairman stood down to allow the party to go into the 2019 election season with its credibility intact.
He further said, “One would not bother you with Oshiomhole’s malfeasance as his nepotism, undue substitution of candidates and cash-and-carry primaries are on the public domain.
“One, once more, challenges the DSS to scroll the phone-log of Comrade and his nepotic court of cronies. I also urge the EFCC to join in this probe and I am sure it will expose how low the party has sunk under this chairman.”