Home » Edo APC Candidate Sues INEC over Primary Election

Edo APC Candidate Sues INEC over Primary Election

Dennis Idahosa claims he won the party's nomination and asks the electoral body to recognize him as the flagbearer

by Victor Adetimilehin

Idahosa challenges Okpebholo’s victory

Dennis Idahosa, a former lawmaker and aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Edo State, has filed a lawsuit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the outcome of the exercise.

Idahosa, who represented Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, is seeking a court order to declare him as the winner of the APC primary election held on February 17, 2024.

He also wants the court to restrain INEC from accepting any other name as the APC candidate for the governorship election scheduled for September 21, 2024.

Okpebholo denies irregularities

In a letter dated March 4, 2024, addressed to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, Idahosa said he won the primary election with 40,453 votes, according to the result certified by INEC and the report of the APC primary election committee. Furthermore, he alleged that the APC leadership ordered a supplementary election on February 22, 2024, without any reason, and declared Monday Okpebholo, a senator representing Edo Central, as the winner with 12,433 votes.

Idahosa argued that the supplementary election was invalid and that the votes of the February 17 exercise could not be disregarded. He attached copies of the INEC-certified result, the INEC report, and the APC committee report as evidence to support his claim.

Okpebholo, who is the incumbent senator for Edo Central, has dismissed Idahosa’s allegations as baseless and unfounded.

However, he said he emerged as the APC candidate through a free, fair, and transparent process that was monitored by INEC and other stakeholders. He accused Idahosa of being a sore loser and trying to cause confusion and division within the party. He said he was ready to defend his victory in court and urged his supporters to remain calm and focused on the governorship campaign.

APC faces internal crisis

The APC in Edo State has been embroiled in a leadership crisis that has threatened its chances of retaining the governorship seat.

The party has been divided into two factions, one loyal to the former governor and national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and the other to the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Moreover, the feud between Oshiomhole and Obaseki led to the latter’s defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023, after he was disqualified from contesting the APC primary election. Obaseki went on to win the 2023 governorship election, defeating the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was backed by Oshiomhole.

The APC has vowed to reclaim the state from the PDP in 2024, but the lingering dispute over the primary election may hamper its chances of presenting a united front.

Hope for peaceful polls

Despite the legal tussle and the political tension, there is hope that the 2024 governorship election in Edo State will be peaceful and credible.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, has assured the public that the commission will conduct the election in accordance with the law and the will of the people.

He said the commission will deploy adequate personnel and materials, ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocols, and collaborate with the security agencies to prevent violence and intimidation.

He also appealed to the political parties and candidates to abide by the rules of the game and respect the verdict of the electorate.

Finally, he said the commission will not tolerate any form of interference or manipulation of the electoral process.

Source: Punch


You may also like

logo white

Born from an unwavering commitment to the nation’s progress, we stand as an emblem of independent journalism dedicated to serving the interests of progressive Nigerians from every corner of our diverse and vibrant country.

© 2024 The Nigerian Patriot. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com