‘We Do Not Have Power To Sack A REC’, INEC Clarifies Statement On Briyai’s ‘Resignation’

A file photo of INEC’s Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi.

 

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has clarified its statement on the resignation of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai.

Amid reports that the REC was sacked, INEC’s National Commissioner and Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said the commission does not have the power to take such action.

He, however, explained that INEC could only delegate power, duties, and responsibilities, saying that was exactly what it did.

READ ALSO: INEC ‘Withdraws All Powers’ From REC Who ‘Resigned’ To Join Bayelsa Governorship Race

“I don’t think we have the power to sack a REC,” Mr Osaze-Uzzi said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

“I don’t think we have the power to sack a REC,” Mr Osaze-Uzzi said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

He added, “The REC’s duty, powers, and responsibility have been delegated by the commission. What the commission just have power to do is delegate his power, delegate his duty, delegate responsibility.

“In this particular case, we have withdrawn that delegated power such that Dr Brayai no longer functions as the REC of Cross River State. He has said he has even resigned anyway.”

On Thursday, Dr Briyai addressed reporters in Calabar, where he declared to contest for the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

He also announced his resignation as a Resident Electoral Commissioner, saying he would run on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 poll.

In a statement, INEC said it has yet to receive any resignation letter from the REC, in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

According to the commission, Dr Briyai failed to follow laid down procedure for resignation as such can only take effect on receipt of the resignation letter by the appointing authority.

It also condemned the use of the premises of the electoral body for expression of political interest, saying it was unlawful.

INEC, thereafter, directed its administrative secretary in Cross River to take over the responsibilities of the REC until further notice.

Read the full statement from the electoral umpire below:

 

We Will Not Issue Certificates Of Return Under Duress, INEC Insists

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not issue certificates of return to elected public officers under duress.

INEC Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, stated this during an interview on The Verdict which aired on Channels Television on Friday.

According to him, a situation whereby a Returning Officer is being threatened to declare a party’s candidate winner of an election under gunpoint or knifepoint amounts to illegality.

“A return is made when the Returning Officer is satisfied that the candidate has met the requirements of law. It is a voluntary act of the returning officer.

“You cannot point a gun to a returning officer’s head and say sign this, he signs it and then says I have been declared (winner). That is illegality, that is not his act.

INEC Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi

“We will only issue a certificate by law when we are satisfied that the Returning Officer of his own free will has made a declaration having satisfied himself or herself that the candidate that was returned has satisfied the requirements of the law,” he said.

READ ALSO: We Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians

When asked if the Commission has the power to determine whether a Returning Officer declared the result under duress, he explained that INEC can take the decision on that “administratively”.

Although he explained that it is only the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, that can only issue or withhold a Certificate of Return, he maintained that the court can order the Commission to do otherwise in a situation where a Returning Officer declares the result under duress.

“Administratively, we can take certain decisions. This is an administrative decision. This is not in compliance with the law. If we are wrong, then the court will correct us,” he said.

His remarks come less than 24 hours after Professor Yakubu warned politicians, contesting in the elections that if they are found culpable of any form of electoral malpractice would not receive the Certificate of Return.

Cash Recovery Claim Shows Police Desperate To Impress – Rivers Govt.

nyesom-wike-governor-of-rivers-state-on-panel-probeThe Rivers state government has described as false, the claims by the Police that it has recovered the sum of 111 million Naira from electoral officers allegedly bribed by the government to manipulate the Rivers rerun election.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George in a statement described the allegations of the Police as “shameful, defamatory and reckless in the extreme”.

He expressed belief that “the police panel is part of a bitter, politically-driven smear campaign launched by the Federal Government against Governor Nyesom Wike, and the people of Rivers State”.

In another statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the government challenged the Police to provide proof that the accused officials had been in possession of the large sum of money displayed before they were paraded.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a press conference addressed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Investigative Panel on Rivers Rerun wherein the panel claimed that the Rivers State Government spent N360million to ensure that the rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016 were rigged in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).

“The statement is patently false, politically motivated and cooked by the Nigerian Police to justify the violence they visited on the people of Rivers State during the rerun.

“This Inspector General of Police and his team are neck deep crime. This statement credited to the Police High Command is aimed at diverting attention from its loss of credibility, after its attempt to assassinate Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike failed woefully.

“The Press Conference addressed by the IGP Investigative Panel headed by Mr Damian Okoro and the IGP Ibrahim Idris is yet another fictional account by a Police Force that has lost its moral base as it is intent on reinventing itself through falsehood.

“The Press Conference by the Police High Command is a hasty desperate attempt to circumvent the judicial process as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has already challenged the legality of the IGP Investigative Panel at the Federal High Court.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, did not spend N360million to rig the Rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016.

“The people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted the PDP across the state because of the outstanding performance of Governor Wike since May 29, 2015.

“The drama at the Press Conference convened by the IGP Investigative Panel and the IGP reveals the script being acted by the Police High Command, which is now obviously an arm of the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Damian Okoro claimed that three INEC Officials who allegedly met with Governor Wike would be interviewed by journalists at the event. The IGP hatchet man after his false press statement refused to allow the promised interview to take place because he knew that the truth would be revealed.

“The Nigerian Police played an inglorious role during the December 10, 2016, helping the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig elections in the few constituencies were they were declared winner.

“Video evidence in the public domain proved that the police killed, maimed, snatched result sheets and ballot boxes as they assisted the APC all through the ill-fated rerun elections.

“On December 12, 2016, the Rivers SARS Commander, Mr Akin Fakorede was caught on camera manhandling electoral officials as he sought to rig the Rivers East Senatorial District in favour of the APC at the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Center.

“Prior to the rerun legislative elections, the Rivers State APC fake INEC result sheets printing syndicate was busted and the lead printer, Atonyesia Peterside arrested.

“The Nigerian Police has since swept the matter under the carpet, even though majority of the fake result sheets were used on December 10, 2016 by APC and pliant INEC Officials under police protection.

“Even in concocting falsehood, the Police High Command failed to display intelligence.

“A simple poser to the Police High Command: Where did the so-called electoral officials save the monies that they displayed before journalists two months after they allegedly received bribe? How come no funds where spent by the said officials under the present circumstances?

“This entire drama is aimed at helping the Rivers APC at the Election Tribunal as the Police High Command did during the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal at Abuja.

“Nigerians are not deceived by the Security Arm of the APC. The Police High Command as presently constituted will not escape the long arm of the law as they are complicit in the violence unleashed on Rivers people during the rerun legislative elections.

“Countless false press conferences and false press statements will not improve the damaged image of the Nigerian Police in relation to their ignoble role during the rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016.

“A final poser to the Police High Command: Why did the Police refuse to tell the world about the persons who killed DSP Alkali?”

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Alleged 111m Naira From Electoral Officers

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Over 111m Naira From Electoral OfficersThe Police claims it has recovered 111 million Naira from some of the electoral officers who conducted the Rivers rerun election.

Releasing the report of the investigative panel on Monday, the Police showed cash evidence allegedly recovered from 23 suspects.

The recovered cash was displayed at a news conference where the panel submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

Receiving the report, the Inspector General vowed to end the culture of political violence perpetrated by politicians.

He promised that all those indicted by the panel’s report, including six dismissed Police officers would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who see elections as a do or die affair.

Reacting to the report of the panel, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity‎ of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, pledged to cooperate with the Police authorities in prosecuting indicted officials.

There has been a lot of controversies since the conduct of the re-run election leading to allegations of bribery and intimidation.

When the panel was set up by the Police, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, openly criticized the composition of the investigative committee, saying he had no confidence in it.

He also set up his own committee to look into the complaints and allegation of fraud during the Rivers re-run election.

Group In Rivers Wants More From INEC Over Alleged Fake Materials Printing

Election MaterialsA group of youths from Rivers State under the aegis of Alliance in Defence of Democracy has staged a protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, calling for the resignation of the electoral body’s chairman over the alleged printing of fake electoral materials in Rivers State.

The protesting group say they are disappointed with the way the chairman of INEC has responded to the arrest of a printer who was allegedly caught printing fake electoral materials in Port Harcourt last week.

The spokesman for the group, Mr Agu Okwukwe, said that the police had arrested the suspect following a tip off.

“Officers of the Nigeria police on Saturday, November, 5 stormed 12 Isiokpo Street D-Line in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and arrested three persons including the manager of the printing press, Atonye Peterside, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a cousin to Mr Dakuku Peterside.

“We express our utter disappointment and shock at the complicity of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Elections Amina Zakari in the entire saga.

“The questions begging for answer are, how did the printer get the serial number of the materials they are printing when the numbers are to be known only by INEC leadership? How did they get the polling units they were printing when INEC has not made public the units were elections will be held? How about the colour, format, font size and security features of all the materials? How did the printer get all those?” Mr Okwukwe questioned.

Meanwhile INEC’s Director for Voters Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told the protesters that the protest was unnecessary, as the electoral body had been working with the police in their investigations.

“When we catch people in the act, allegedly forging currency notes, do you go to blame the Central Bank because people are forging their own things that they produce.

“When a person is caught with a forged WAEC certificate do you blame WAEC or the examination body because people have decided to go and forge this things? It is ridiculous. So, on what bases are people now blaming INEC? What is the evidence?

“We will still have to wait for the police to complete their investigation and we are collaborating and cooperating with the police in ensuring that we unravel the circumstances which lead to this,” he told the protesters.

Ondo Election: INEC Raises Alarm Over Security

Ondo Governorship Election, Ondo Governorship PollThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised security concern over the attitude of politicians in Ondo State ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, says the actions of some aggrieved politicians in the state since the political parties conducted their primaries is capable of undermining the security of the state.

“The mindset of the political class, especially the politicians that belong to the leading political party on what it takes to win elections usually involve violence and malpractices among their followers.

“There is an urgent need for the political class to change its do or die attitude to good conduct in politics and a political caution of violence has to be done away with in our political parties.

“Our political parties must imbibe the culture of sincere eternal party democracy in the interest of the nation’s democracy,” he said.

Mr Agbaje made the remarks on Thursday at a meeting with members of the civil society groups in Abuja, to assess INEC’s preparation for the elections.

‘I Will Resign’

On the sideline of the event, the senior INEC official also explained why the electoral umpire published the name of Mr

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDP
INEC-Recognised Ondo PDP Governorship Candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim

Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) candidate for the polls.

 

The decision has led to massive protest in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

“It is the court judgement of that day that forced us to say it is this person and that means if another higher court comes with a judgement to say it is Eyitayo Jegede, (we will obey),” he noted.

Agbaje further revealed that he had made a commitment that INEC would obey the ruling of the Appeal Court if the ruling favours Jegede.

“If the Appeal Court says it is Eyitayo, the commission cannot say no, but if it does, I will resign my appointment as a commissioner,” he stated.

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi
Mr Eyitayo Jegede

Meanwhile Mr Clement Nwakwo, who is a member of one of the civil groups, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, had a different view about the procedure of selecting candidates.

He advised the politicians to address issues of candidacy in-house, instead of approaching various courts for such decisions.

“I do not think that INEC has any major role to play in deciding who the candidates are (and) that’s why they have taken the decision.

“It is really for the political parties to sort out their mess for the court to really not become a theatre of deciding who candidates are, but the political party themselves making those decisions in line with their own process and the rule of law,” he recommended.

PDP Crisis Deepens

At least 1.6 million registered voters are expected to participate in the Saturday, November 26 governorship polls in Ondo State.

There has been crisis over the authenticity of candidates in some of the parties in the polls including the PDP, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Olusola Oke, AD, Ondo Election
AD declares Olusola Oke as its candidate

While the APC and AD finally adopted Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr Olusola Oke as their respective candidates, the controversy has deepened in the PDP.

Both factions of the party have continued to lay claim to having produced the authentic candidate of the party, although the Ali Modu Sheriff faction is backed by the court ruling which favoured Jimoh Ibrahim and which INEC has obeyed.

The PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has equally been optimistic that “justice would be served” and called on all PDP faithful across Nigeria as well as the general public to remain calm and continue to support them.

In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, the Caretaker Committee has reiterated its support for Jegede as the party’s sole flag-bearer.

President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu
President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu

On his part, APC candidate, Mr Akeredolu has made a mockery of the PDP, saying he would defeat both Ibrahim and Jegede if put together in the polls.

Briefing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, he boasted that he would emerge victorious at the poll.

Ondo Election Appeal Panel Disqualifies Self

Appeal Court, kogi electionThe special panel hearing the Ondo state PDP election appeal have disqualified themselves from the case following allegations of bribery leveled against the panel by the Chairman of PDP in Ondo State, Mr Biyi Poroye.

Chairman of the Panel, Justice Hannatu Sankey explained at the resumed hearing of the appeal that the chairman of PDP, Mr Biyi Poroye made the accusation in a petition addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal.

The three-man special panel was hearing the application for the leave of the court to appeal the judgment of a Federal High Court which enabled INEC to substitute the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede with that of Jimoh Ibrahim

The accusation temporarily stalled hearing of the appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede against Biyi Poroye and 10 others as the panel took a break to decide whether to continue hearing the case.

After the break, Chairman of the Panel, Justice Hannatu Sankey disclosed that the panel would discontinue its involvement in the case.

She added that all files connected to the Ondo State governorship appeal would be returned to the President of the Court of Appeal for reassignment.

The Markafi faction of the PDP had declared the immediate past Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo state, Eyitayo Jegede, as winner of the PDP governorship primary election in the state.

Mr. Eyitayo emerged the winner of the party’s primary by polling 760 votes to defeat the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the PDP in the 2012 governorship election.

However, the Ali-Modu Sheriff’s faction of the PDP picked governorship aspirant, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, as its candidate in the forthcoming poll.

Dr Ibrahim recorded 502 votes to win the election with his opponent, Mr Olusola Ebiseni, having 41 votes while 17 votes were invalid.

AD Suspends Three National Officers For Alleged Anti-Party Activities

alliance-for-democracy-adThe leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has suspended its National Deputy Chairman, North, Mr Shehu Musa and two others for alleged anti-party activities.

The other suspended officers are the party’s National Legal Adviser, Mr Kehinde Aworele and the National Organising Secretary, Mr Abdallah Ibrahim.

AD National Chairman, Mr Joseph Avazi, made the announcement at the end of a National Working Committee meeting of the party in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that the principal officers were suspended for convening an illegal meeting in Ondo State, with the aim of undermining the chances of the party in the November 26 governorship election.

In a communique read after the meeting, the AD mandated its National Secretary, Zonal Chairman (Northeast) and the Deputy Chairman (South) to take stock of states due to hold their congress with the aim of notifying the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party’s leadership has affirmed that Mr Olusola Oke remains its authentic flag bearer for the forthcoming election and INEC has since recognised Mr Oke as the candidate for the polls.

The electoral umpire also listed Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP candidate and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the APC flag bearer.

INEC Lists Jimoh Ibrahim As PDP Candidate For Ondo Election

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDPThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has listed Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ondo governorship election slated for November 26.

INEC released its list of candidates for the election on its website on Thursday evening.

Legal practitioner, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu was listed as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Alfred Agboola Ajayi as his running mate.

The candidate of the Labour Party is Adeuti Stephen Taye with Akinbamire Adebayo Benson as the running mate, while Olusola Oke was listed as the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), with Dauda Ganny Oluwadare his running mate.

Oke, who contested in the September 3 primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), dumped the party for the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to actualise his ambition.

A total of 28 political parties were listed to partake in the November election.

Jimoh Ibrahim’s listing alongside his running mate Alabi Ebenezer Omotayo is in line with a court order on October 14.

Justice Abang had ordered INEC to recognise Mr Ibrahim as the PDP flag bearer for the election.

The court ordered to reinforce a verdict it earlier gave on June 29, which recognised the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP and directed INEC to only deal with the faction instead of the Markafi group.

Since then there have been demands by the two PDP factions that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must recognise their candidates.

Factions of the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and that of the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday insisted that their candidates must be recognised, although the electoral law recognises one candidate per political party.

As INEC prepared to release its list on Friday, a Federal High Court declined to grant an application filed by the candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, seeking to appeal the ruling that ordered the electoral umpire to recognise Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP flag bearer.

In a ruling that lasted for about one hour on Wednesday in Abuja, Justice Okon Abang held that Mr Jegede lacked the ‘locus standi’ to appeal the decision of the court.

Peace Pact

Earlier in the day, participating political parties in Ondo State governorship election signed a peace pact to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the polls.

The peace pact signing, which took place on Thursday at the Police Officers’ Mess in Akure, the state capital, was attended by some governorship aspirants as well as party officials and supporters.

The State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, urged the political stakeholders to adhere to the rules and regulations of the election.

He also asked them to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and after the polls.

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Agunloye and the Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Fatai Adams, pledged to play by the rules of the game.

Fifteen out of the 28 political parties that would partake in the November election were present at the signing of the peace pact.

Ondo PDP: Court Says Jegede Lacks ‘Locus Standi’ To Challenge Ibrahim

Court, Ondo PDP, Jimoh Ibrahim, Mr Eyitayo Jegede,A Federal High Court has declined to grant an application filed by the candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, seeking to appeal an earlier decision that ordered the electoral umpire to recognise Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP flag bearer in the Ondo governorship election.

In a ruling that lasted for about one hour on Wednesday in Abuja, Justice Okon Abang held that Mr Jegede lacked the ‘locus standi’ to appeal the decision of the court.

He added that Jegede was not mentioned in the substantive matter and as such, he lacked the right to appeal the judgment.

Justice Abang further stated that it was the political party that submitted the list of candidates it wanted to sponsor in the election.

Until the judgment is set aside, he says the Independent National Electoral Commission cannot receive nomination order than the plaintiff, “unless it wants to thread the path of illegality and that will not be good for the society”.

Pressure On INEC

On October 14, Justice Abang had ordered INEC to recognise Mr Ibrahim as the PDP flag bearer for the November 26 election in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

The court ordered to reinforce a verdict it earlier gave on June 29, which recognised the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP and directed INEC to only deal with the faction instead of the Markafi group.

Despite the ruling, both PDP factions have continued to mount pressure on INEC to recognise their candidates.

They insisted that their candidates must be recognised, even though the electoral laws recognised one candidate per political party.

This demand is coming barely 24 hours to when INEC said it would publish the names of candidates vying for the governorship seat.

Ondo Election: Stakeholders Sign Peace Pact For Peaceful Conduct

Ondo Election, PoliceParticipating political parties in Ondo State governorship election have signed a peace pact to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the polls.

The peace pact signing, which took place on Thursday at the Police Officers’ Mess in Akure, the state capital, was attended by some governorship aspirants as well as party officials and supporters.

The State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, urged the political stakeholders to adhere to the rules and regulations of the election.

He also asked them to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and after the polls.

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Agunloye and the Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Fatai Adams, pledged to play by the rules of the game.

Fifteen out of the 28 political parties that would partake in the November election were present at the signing of the peace pact.

Dangerous For Democracy

The peace pact signing follows the demand by two PDP factions that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must recognise their candidates.

Factions of the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and that of the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday insisted that their candidates must be recognised, although the electoral law recognises one candidate per political party.

In its reaction, INEC described the situation as very unfortunate and dangerous for democracy.

The demand comes barely 24 hours to when the electoral umpire said it would publish the names of candidates vying for the governorship seat.

PDP Factions In Ondo Want INEC To Recognise Two Candidates

PDP Chairmanship, Southwest ZoneTwo factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State have continued to mount pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise their candidates.

The factions are making the demand ahead of the election that will hold next month.

Factions of the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and that of the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday insisted that their candidates must be recognised, even though the electoral laws recognised one candidates per political party.

This demand is coming barely 24 hours to when INEC said it would publish the names of candidates vying for the governorship seat.

Supporters of Senator Sheriff, led by Professor Wale Oladipo, held a conference on Wednesday where they made the demand while those loyal to the Ahmed Makarfi led by Onoja King, also insisted that INEC must recognise their own candidate.

Dangerous For Democracy

Meanwhile, INEC has described the situation as very unfortunate and dangerous for democracy.

Earlier on Tuesday, at a meeting with members of the civil society groups, the INEC Director for Voters Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, expressed concern over the development, describing the situation as dangerous for democracy.

Although the electoral body is yet to publish the list of candidates in the governorship election, political watchers are watching whether the electoral body will be swayed by the pressures from these groups.

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDP
Jimoh Ibrahim, one of the candidates that a faction is presenting to INEC

On October 14, a faction of the party asked members and supporters to disregard a High Court judgement that declared Mr Jimoh Ibrahim the party’s candidate for the state’s governorship election.

In a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, Mr Banji Okunomo, the PDP stated that its governorship candidate could only emerge through a due process in consonance with the constitution of the party.

“The party believes that its governorship candidate can never be produced through the back door or some unconstitutional procedures.

“The Supreme Court of Nigeria has made it clear that only the National Executive Committee (NEC) of a party could nominate the governorship candidate.

“This was done in the nomination of Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN). As such, no High Court can invalidate or alter this position which is clearly defined by the highest ruling court in Nigeria,” the party said.

The PDP allayed fears of party members, saying appropriate steps were already being taken to quash what it called an “obnoxious and baseless ruling”, referring to the judgement of the court.

With the disagreement continuing, it appears the party has not addressed the situation.