The deputy chief whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, has been expelled from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for alleged anti-party activities.
Iriase, who represents Owan federal constituency, was expelled by his ward and ratified by the local government.
Zuberu Shabah and Theophilus Aigboje, chairman and secretary respectively, of Owan East local government, signed the expulsion letter and made it available to reporters in Benin, Edo capital, on Monday.
Allegations levelled against the lawmaker included defection of ward eight and nine APC executives to the PDP on Iriase’s orders, presenting his personal assistant, Hilary Ozogo, to contest under the PDP platform and refusal to attend APC meetings.
In the letter addressed to the national chairman of the APC Adams Oshiomhole, through Edo chairman of the party Anselm Ojezua, the Owan East APC said it ratified the decision of APC members of ward nine to expel Iriase.
The letter said all laid down rules and procedures as enshrined in article 21 of the APC’s constitution were followed in reaching the conclusion to expel Iriase.
It noted that the APC in Owan east has since moved on without Iriase and the evidence would show in the forthcoming elections.
The letter reads, “I humbly invite Mr Chairman to kindly note the decision of the Owan East chapter of the APC and grant it the very urgent attention it requires.
“The APC leadership and members in Owan east have already moved forward without Pally Iriase as we are growing in numbers every day. This will be evident in the results we post in the forthcoming elections.
“Iriase refused to officially inform the APC of his defection because he wants to continue to enjoy the benefit of the office of the Deputy chief whip.”
Attempts made to get the lawmaker’s reaction on his expulsion were unsuccessful as his two mobile numbers were switched off.
During the weekend, Iriase said there was intense pressure on him to move to PDP but added that he remained focus and committed to the APC.
He said the rumour about his defection to the opposition may have been informed by his decision not to contest for any political position.
“I have made my direction politically very clear, am not contesting the 2019 general election. I am a member of APC, people who do not want to be in APC anymore have defected. It is a personal thing; you don’t do it by surrogate,” he had said.
“Any politician of note that is considered to have electoral value is likely, under the kind of circumstances we find ourselves in Edo state, to be under severe pressure from poachers.
“But what you make of that pressure is the real issue, am calm. From rumour flying around, I remain who I am.”