The Nigerian Consolidation Ambassadors Network NCAN, the group which last Wednesday purchased the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that it has not contravened any law in deciding to buy the form for the President.
The group also said that it has concluded plans to formally present the form to the President latest by Monday, September 10 which is the initial date for the closing of sales of nomination forms that has now been extended to Tuesday.
Speaking with newsmen on the controversy surrounding the purchase of the form, National Coordinator of the Group, Barrister Sunusi Musa said also denied link between the group and Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello, stressing that the group has been planning to purchase the nomination form since it was set up in August 2017.
He also said that the reference of the Electoral Act does to individual or group contribution to campaign fund is restricted to candidates contesting elections and not aspirants, referring to a Supreme Court decision on who is a candidate for an election and who is an aspirant.
He said by the provisions of the law, the President is not qualified to be referred to as an aspirant yet u till he gets the nod of the party to participate in the primaries after submitting his nomination form and scaling through the screening process, with the party presenting him with a certificate of clearance.
He said further that they have not presented the form to the President because he was outside the country, pointing out that the form will formally be presented to the President very soon.
He said “The president is just back, so we have not yet presented the form to the president. We are in the process of sending it. We will send it to him”, he said.
While denying link with Governor Yahaya Bello, Musa said “Let me say that as a person, I have never met Gov. Yahaya Bello. I do not know him personally and vice versa.
“Of course, it is possible for him to have known some members of our group in his state but NCAN as an association formed since August 2017 has never made any effort to meet with Gov. Yahaya Bello or any other governor to solicit for financial support. Probably, some people think that by the apparent closeness of Gov. Bello to President Buhari, the governor might have procured the form.
“Again, because some of the founding and prominent members of this group are from Kogi state, that might have informed such insinuation but I want to say that as at now, not a single government official has contributed a kobo to our purse. Certainly, no”, he explained.
Many pro-Buhari groups had reportedly lobbied to be the ones to purchase the form for the president.