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 Federal High Court in the matters ordered the Commission to recognize the Dayo-led State Executive Committee of PDP in Ogun State and receive a 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 judgments 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 recognize Adebayo Dayo led state executive committee of PDP in Ogun State and receive a 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 recognizing the Dayo-led Ogun PDP exco.
He reiterated his earlier call on party’s elders, leaders and teeming supporters to embark on massive mobilization and reconciliation for a 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.
APC Vows To Win 30 States In 2019
The chairman of South West national peace and reconciliation committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has boasted that the party was positioned to win 30 states in the 2019 general elections.
He disclosed this on Wednesday when the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, inaugurated the committees headed by six governors in different geopolitical zones to address the post-primary elections disputes in the party.
Shettima, who said ‘contest for power was not a tea party’, added that the maturity with which it was handled was very important.
“We are in control of 23 states. Such hiccups are inevitable in every political dispensation. We will try our best to reconcile aggrieved members.
“Collective interests should supersede our own interests. And our interest is to ensure that President Buhari wins. We want to ensure we have 30 states,” he added.
Earlier, Comrade Oshiomhole, said the National Peace and Reconciliation Committees for each of the six geo-political zones were constituted to find ‘in-house solution’ to the challenges facing the party.
Oshiomhole, who said the committees were free to consult them on new issues arising to proffer solutions, added that the terms of reference given to them were amenable.
Buruji Kashamu Enters Ogun PDP Guber Race
The senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the national assembly, Buruji Kashamu, has replaced Adeleke Shittu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of next year’s elections in the state.
It was learnt that Shittu whose name was pasted alongside other governorship candidates of 38 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), “voluntarily withdrew” from the race for Kashamu.
Shittu had emerged the governorship candidate of PDP from the primary conducted by Bayo Dayo-faction in the State.
The other faction of PDP headed by Sikirullahi Ogundele had equally presented Hon Oladipopu Adebutu as the party’s governorship candidate, but the electoral umpire accepted the list submitted by Dayo faction.
In accepting candidates list submitted by Kashamu-backed faction, the INEC cited subsisting court judgments which recognized Dayo-led faction.
Kashamu’s Media Aide, Austin Oniyokor on Sunday, confirmed that his boss had replaced Shittu as governorship candidate.
Oniyokor in a telephone interview said the leaders and elders of the party “prevailed” on Kashamu to throw his hat in the ring in the coming election.
He said: “The party’s stakeholders, leaders, and elders met and decided that it would be better for Senator Buruji Kashamu to run if the PDP wants to win.
“Shittu who was at the stakeholders meeting saw the reason to quit the race for Kashamu.
“I can confirm to you that Shittu had last week Friday intimated the INEC of his voluntary withdrawal from the race.”
APC Wins Kwara Bye-Election
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Raheem Olawuyi, was on Saturday declared the winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency bye-election held across the four councils in Kwara State.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, while declaring the result at the Irepodun Local Government Secretariat in Omu-Aran, said Olawuyi polled 21,236 to emerge the winner.
He defeated his closest rival, Saheed Damilare of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 18,095.
Abimbola, who is of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, said Olawuyi having scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared the winner.
Other contestants in the election were Femi Ona-Ara of Labour Party, Ajadi Olayemi of Peoples Party of Nigeria as well as Olaniyan Ayorinde of Unity Party of Nigeria.
Abimbola gave the total number of total registered voters as collated as 168,707; accredited voters as 41,185; total valid votes as 39,599; total number of rejected votes as 1,331; and the total number of votes cast as 40,930.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some cancellations arising from snatching of ballot boxes and over voting were reportedly experienced in three polling units in Irepodun Local Government Area.
The affected units as listed by the Presiding Officer in charge of the council included Registration Area 02 of Esie-Ijan Ward, where two ballot boxes were reportedly snatched and 955 number of registered voters lost.
Other areas were Oro Ward 1 RA 02, Polling Unit 01, where a case of ballot snatching was recorded and a total of 297 registered voters were affected and over voting in Oro Ward 2 RA 10 Polling Unit 01 with 474 registered votes lost.
Election cancellation was also recorded in Ile Apaasin RA 04 Polling Unit in Isin Local Government where only 59 voters were accredited but turned in 377 votes.
Some Independent National Electoral Officers were confirmed to have been attacked and had wounds in the process.
NAN reports that the declaration of the results was witnessed by notable officials that included the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowora; the Resident Electoral Commissioner from Kwara State, Malam Garuba Madami; as well as his Imo and Lagos States counterparts, Emeka Nzeonu and Sam Olumeko respectively.
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