• Bwacha makes list despite court order to the contrary in Taraba
‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja, David Arin,
– As activities towards the 2023 elections heats up, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final lists of Governorship and state house of assembly candidates.
The list published contains the names of candidates validly nominated for State Elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates.
In summary, the 18 political parties have fielded 837 candidates and their running mates for the 28 Governorship elections that fall due in 2023. For State Assembly elections, 10, 231 candidates are vying for 993 State Assembly seats.
The statement by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye stated that the list for specific constituencies has been published in each State where they are located while the comprehensive nationwide 894-page list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website.
Daily Courier recalls that campaign in public by political parties officially commenced on Sept. 28 for presidential, senatorial and federal house of representatives candidates as provided for by Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
He urged political parties to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the political party.
Court nullifies all PDP primaries in Ogun
A conspicuous absence of any candidate for all elective positions (guber and state houses of assembly) by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Ogun State brings to mind the Rivers and Zamfara experience if nothing changes.
Daily Courier reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, nullified all primaries conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State for the 2023 general elections.
The presiding judge, Justice O. O Oguntoyinbo, however, called for a rerun of the primaries within 14 days.
The Court ruled that all the primaries conducted did not follow the principles of the electoral act.
The plaintiffs, Taiwo Olabode Idris; Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuru, in an Originating Summons filed by Dr Kemi Pinherio (SAN), had approached the Court seeking an order nullifying or setting aside the Special State Congress or indirect primary election held by the party on the 25th of May, 2022, for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the party intends to nominate or sponsor at the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State, based on the list of delegates who were not democratically elected at the ward congress.
They also prayed for an order of the court directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disregard or refrain from giving effect to the results of the alleged first defendant indirect primary election, conducted in May, based on the list of ad-hoc delegates, who were not elected at the ward congresses constituted by the party for that purpose.
The trio of Idris, Akala and Monsuru, also urged the Court to compel the party to forward the name of Mr Jimi Lawal to INEC as its nominated candidate for the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State.
The plaintiffs, equally, asked the Court to in the alternative direct the party to conduct a fresh Special State Congress where indirect primary election to choose the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 Governorship election will be held using the INEC certified list of elected ad-hoc delegates from the ward congresses.
They also asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, whether by themselves, cronies, allies or their representatives from further recognising, dealing with or parading any person or group of persons not elected at the ward congresses held in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 2022 as Adhoc delegates to vote at the indirect primaries for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the party intends to nominate or sponsor at the 2023 governorship election in Ogun State.
The presiding judge, Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo in his judgement ordered the party to conduct another primary within the next 14 days.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Pinherio, represented by Thaddeus Idenyi, said the Court nullified the primaries because they were conducted with Adhoc delegates lists.
Despite making the cut due to an Appeal Court decision, Delta Speaker Sheriff Oborevwori, the PDP gubernatorial candidate is still uncertain.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday reversed the July 7, 2022 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja sacking the Delta Speaker as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s election.
A three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Peter Ige, held that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to have entertained the suit by David Edevbie on the grounds that the cause of action had not crystallised as at when the suit was filed.
The appellate court further held that Edevbie failed to prove his claim that Oborevwori supplied false and forged academic credentials and other documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship election.
It added that Justice Taiwo Taiwo (now retired) who delivered the July 7, 2022 judgment, erred when he upheld Edevbie’s claims after finding that the cause of action has not crystallised because Oborevwori’s name was not yet submitted to INEC and published.
Barely two weeks after the ruling, Edevbie, has asked the Supreme Court to re-affirm his candidacy.
Edevbie, in a 23-ground of appeal, faulted the entire unanimous decision of the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Peter Ige and asked the apex court to hold that he is the rightful candidate of the PDP in the Delta State governorship election slated for February next year.
The appeal filed by his lawyer, Mr. Eko Ejembi Eko (SAN), has Oborevwori Sheriff Francis Orohwedor, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents, respectively.
Bwacha makes list despite court order to the contrary in Taraba
A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo had nullified the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election that produced Senator Emmanuel Bwacha as the flag bearer in Taraba State for the 2023 general election.
The presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, ordered that a fresh primary poll be conducted within 14 days of the judgment.
Within seven days, it said the party should determine the mode for the fresh primary.
David Sabo Kente, one of the aspirants in the Taraba APC guber primary, on May 26 sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and APC as the first, second and third defendants respectively, challenging the legitimacy of the conduct of the primary.
The presiding judge, in determining the substantive suit, noted that the Chairman of the Taraba APC Governorship Election Committee had said there was no election and he did not order any election when he addressed a briefing at the Police Headquarters in Jalingo.
The judge also noted that there was no evidence before the court that the direct primary adopted by the third defendant (APC) held.
Justice Amobeda also held that the aspirants were not given equal opportunity to campaign.
He resolved that the weight of evidence before the court showed that no election was held and that the nomination of Senator Bwacha “was null and therefore set aside”.
“No APC governorship primary election was held in Taraba. Therefore, the nomination of the second defendant (Bwacha) as the governorship candidate did not comply with the electoral act of 2022,” the judge held.
The judge described the Taraba guber primary election held on May 26, 2022,
as “sham,” adding that “the third defendant (APC) is restrained from presenting its candidate (Bwacha) to the first defendant (INEC) for the 2023 general election.
Justice Amobeda ordered that “the third defendant shall within 14 days conduct a fresh election and shall determine the mode of primaries within seven days of the judgement.”