Sheriff’s PDP at loggerheads with INEC over Ibrahim


A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has threatened to sue the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission if it fails to recognise Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

It threatened to sue INEC in order to enforce the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court, Abuja, which ordered the commission to accept Ibrahim as the authentic candidate of the party in the state.

National Secretary of the faction of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

Oladipo was flanked at the briefing by other officers of the faction, including Ibrahim and a former Presidential aide, Mr. Ahmed Gulak.

He said it was wrong for INEC to be foot-dragging in recognising Ibrahim, based on the judgment of the court.

INEC is expected to publish the names of candidates that will participate in the election on Thursday.

However, INEC has tentatively put the name of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) on its website as the PDP candidate for the election.

Jegede, who was until recently the commissioner for justice in Ondo State, is from the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee faction of the party.

Oladipo said INEC must correct “the anomaly” unless it wants its officers to be sued for contempt.

He said, “We won’t do anything (if INEC fails to remove Jegede’s name) than to apply to the court that the officers be charged for contempt. Definitely, some people will go to court and they will end up in Kuje Prison.

“However, we are appealing to the commission to do what is right in order to enable us concentrate on our campaign. Enough of this distraction.

“Ondo State is very dear to us. It is the only state that the opposition has never governed in the South-West, just as we (the PDP) have never succeeded in governing Lagos State.”

Oladipo said INEC must be neutral and should not be seen to be taking sides in the crisis that has engulfed the party since it lost the presidential election in May 2015.

“INEC must be neutral in Ondo. We are not asking for favour; we are only asking that the commission defend the law.

“We sold forms and did screening. We conducted primary and he (Ibrahim) emerged. There’s is also a court judgment which affirmed the primary and the candidature of Ibrahim. When we are pursuing reconciliation, we won’t compromise Ibrahim’s candidature.

“We therefore call on INEC to give recognition to our candidate. INEC must obey court orders. INEC has no business interpreting the judgment. It must not and can not act as the Court of Appeal,” Oladipo said.

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