The Independent National Electoral Commission has finally the recognized leadership of Senator of Senator Buruji Kashamu’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party to produce candidates in all levels of election for the 2019 polls in Ogun State.
This has been communicated to the national leadership of the PDP and the Adebayo Dayo-led faction of the party, which has Kashamu’s backing, by INEC.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, had ordered INEC and the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the party to accept and process the list of candidates and delegates submitted to them by the Dayo-led Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP for the purpose of the 2019 general election.
The two factions of the PDP in the state produced Shittu Adeleke and Ladi Adebutu as governorship candidates.
However, the Dayo-led group which is backed by Kashamu, the representative of Ogun East Senatorial District, in a suit filed before the court, sought an interlocutory order directing the INEC to accept or process delegates and candidates produced by the group as the authentic for the next general elections.
In a letter addressed to the PDP, dated October 25, which was received by the party on October 30, the commission stated that it has recognised only the candidates list from the lawful primaries conducted by the Dayo PDP Ogun executive.
Going by the INEC letter to the party, Adeleke will now be the governorship candidate of PDP in Ogun State instead of Adebutu, whose name was submitted to INEC by the party.
However, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described INEC’s decision as a huge compromise.
Ologbondiyan said: “If INEC claimed that it collected any list outside what the national secretariat of PDP submitted to it, it is a huge compromise.
“And we say so according to our statutes and all the laws governing elections in Nigeria.
INEC cannot take a list from a state of the party.
“INEC takes list from the national headquarters of the party.
“So if it claimed that it had gone to take any list from anywhere, it is unknown to us and it is unknown to the rule guiding elections in Nigeria.
“They acknowledged all the names that we submitted to them.
“So, it is totally strange, unknown to the rules and unknown to the PDP that INEC is claiming that it has another list.
“We are not aware.”
In the letter signed by INEC’s acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, the electoral body said its decision was informed by the orders by the Federal High Court in three cases.
These were FHC/L/CFS/636/2016 Engr. Adebayo Dayo & Anor vs INEC & 5 Ors; FHC/l/CFS/114/2018 Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju (Member PDP National Working Committee) and 6 Ors. vs INEC and 30 Ors; and FHC/ABJ/CFS/636/2016 Engr. Adebayo Dayo (State Chairman) & 8 Ors. vs INEC & 3 Ors.
INEC said the the Federal High Court in the matters ordered the Commission to recognise the Dayo-led State Executive Committee of PDP in Ogun State and receive list of candidates for the 2019 Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly Elections from the said committee.
It recalled that the Commission vide a letter dated April 12 informed PDP of the Commission’s compliance with the judgements of the Federal High Court in the suits, which were subsisting until set aside.
INEC said: “Further to the above decision, the Federal High Court Abeokuta Division on 2nd October 2018 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CFS/636/2016 Engr. Adebayo Dayo (State Chairman) 8: 8 Ors. vs iNEC & 3 Ors. also ordered the commission to recognise Adebayo Dayo led state executive committee of PDP in Ogun State and receive list of candidates for the 2019 Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly Elections from the said committee.
“Consequently, the Commission hereby notes the decisions of the Federal High Court in the above referred cases and will publish the lists of candidates submitted by the Adebayo Dayo led State Executive Committee of Ogun State pursuant to the Orders of the Federal High Court until they are set aside.”
Kashamu, whose faction’s list was accepted, commended INEC and the leadership of the party for recognising the Dayo-led Ogun PDP exco.
He reiterated his earlier call on party’s elders, leaders and teeming supporters to embark on massive mobilisation and reconciliation for successful outing at the polls.
Kashamu declared that there should be a “No victor, No vanquished” disposition amongst party members, saying: “We shall all reap from the electoral fortune that will be ours at the 2019 general election.”
The National Executive Committee of the party had earlier expelled Kashamu, Dayo and two members of the Ogun State chapter of the party over alleged anti-party activities, which was later overturned by the court.
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