Some aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State have asked the Federal High Court in Ibadan to nullify all State House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives and Senatorial District Primaries conducted in the state.
Through their counsel, Tunde Falola, the eight aspirants are urging the court to set aside the PDP Primaries conducted on May 21st, 22nd and May 23, 2022, in Oyo State, because they were allegedly conducted in flagrant violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended), the PDP’s Constitution as well as its Guidelines.
The politicians are also seeking an injunction restraining PDP and INEC from using and/or utilizing any other list of Ad-Hoc and National Delegates for the nomination of candidates into various elective positions at the 2023 general election in Oyo State other than the list of Ad-Hoc and National Delegates which emanated from Ward and Local Government Area Congresses conducted on the 30 April 2022 and 10th May 2022 in Oyo State in compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act, PDP’s Constitution as well as its Guidelines.
The Plaintiffs in the suit are Hon. Taofeef Abiola, Niyi Aborisade(a lawyer), Hon. Taiwo Jimoh, Sakiru Olaide Raheem, Akande Olalekan, Jelil Azeez, Ayoade Olusegun and Anifowoshe Dayo James.
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The PDP & the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are joined as respondents to the suit.
In the suit, the plaintiffs are asking the court for “a declaration that having regards to the combined provisions of Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended), Sections 15(2)(e) and 18(2)(c) of the PDP’s Constitution and the Guidelines for Ward, Local Government Area, State, Zonal Congresses and the National Convention of the party, the Defendants are statutorily bound to accord recognition to, act on and/or deal with the list of Ad-Hoc and National Delegates elected at the Ward and Local Government Area Congresses conducted in Oyo State on 30th April 2022 and 10th May 2022 respectively for the nomination of candidates for 2023 general elections in the state”.
They further urged the court “to declare that the purported lists of Ad-hoc delegates used for the conduct of State House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives and Senatorial District Primaries on May 21st, 2022, May 25th, 2022, May 22nd, 2022 and May 23rd, 2022 for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 General Elections in Oyo State are illegal and unconstitutional, having not emanated from the Ward Congress conducted on April 30, 2022, in Oyo State”.
In an affidavit filed in support of the suit and deposed to by one of the Applicants, Taofeef Abiola, they claimed that they are card-carrying members of the PDP in Oyo State and as aspirants who participated and contested for the various elective positions in the Oyo State Chapter of the party.
They also maintained that having complied with the combined provisions of Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the Constitution of the PDP, the Guidelines for Ward, Local Government Area, State, Zonal Congresses and the National Convention of the PDP, the lists of Ad-Hoc and National Delegates elected through the Ward and Local Government Area Congresses held on said April 30, 2022, and May 10, 2022, respectively in Oyo State and no other lists of delegates ought to be accorded recognition as the authentic and lawfully elected delegates of the PDP in Oyo State by the INEC for nominations of candidates at the 2023 General Election in Oyo State.
“That in preparation for the 2023 General Election, the second Defendant (PDP) released and published the Time-Table and Schedule of Activities for its Ward, Local Government Area and the National Convention, to elect party Ad-Hoc and National Delegates”.
“That under the above, the second Defendant also adopted its January 2020 Guidelines for the Conduct of the said Ward, Local Government Area, State, Zonal Congresses and the National Convention”.
“That in line with the party’s already published Time-Table referred to in paragraph 9 above and under the Provision of Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended) and the second Defendant’s Constitution, the second Defendant Conducted its Ward Congresses in Oyo State on April 30, 2022, and Three AD-HOC Ward Delegates were elected from each of the Wards in the State”.
“That contrary to the aforementioned directive by the second Defendant and in sharp contravention of the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended) and the 2nd Defendant’s Constitution, a minority group within the second Defendant Party in Oyo State who did not participate at the said Ward and Local Government Area Congresses have connived with some Elements and National officers of the second Defendant and perfected, planned and jettisoned the authentic and legally recognisable list of delegates emanating from the said Ward and Local Government Area Congresses”.
“That notwithstanding our protest also, the 2nd Defendant’s Agents who conducted the primaries insisted and went on with the purported primaries”.
“That at the said primaries also, the authentic Ad-hoc Delegates who could have voted for me as well as other Plaintiffs were severally beaten and injured by the thugs sponsored by the said minority group within the 2nd Defendant, who was behind the manipulation of the lists in question”.
The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.