INEC throws PDP convention into confusion

The city of Port Harcourt is buzzing with activities as the national convention of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP scheduled for tomorrow picks momentum.

But the convention is already facing challenges as the Independent National Electoral Commission has declared it will not recognize any election results that will have the names of the incumbent chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff; national secretary, Professor Olawale Oladipo, and the national auditor, Alhaji Fatai Adewale Adeyanju.

INEC’s decision is hinged on a ruling by Justice Hussein Buba of Federal High Court, Lagos. The ruling was based on a restraining order, asking the party not to conduct elections into the offices of national chairman, national auditor and secretary, respectively.

Justice Buba also restrained INEC from monitoring any elections that will fill the positions of National Chairman, Secretary, and Auditor.

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In the case with suit number FHC/L/CS/61 3/2016, dated 6th of May, 2016, the plaintiffs prayed for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining both the PDP and INEC from monitoring and /or recognizing elections by the Sheriff, Fatai and Olawale.

Notwithstanding the court order, the PDP National Executive Committee, (NEC), passed a resolution to go ahead with the convention and conduct elections into all offices. Now this is a recipe for prolonged court cases.

Reacting to the INEC’s position, the Deputy Director of Publicity and Voters’ Education, Nick Dazang, stated that “Our position is that we shall obey the court order and that means, we won’t monitor or recognize any election into the offices affected by the court order.

“The court order says elections into office of chairman, national secretary and national auditor shouldn’t hold. So, INEC won’t recognize any election into such offices. “We would monitor only offices exempted. Those affected won’t be monitored, neither will any elections into the offices be recognized.”

Meanwhile, a parallel convention is purportedly convoked by Professor Jerry Gana in Abuja tomorrow. One wonders how these events plays out.