INEC okays Jimoh Ibrahim as Ondo PDP candidate
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday in Abuja confirmed Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
The confirmation came hours after a High Court sitting in Akure ordered that Eyitayo Jegede who was a factional candidate of the party should not be substituted. Mr. Alabi Ebenezer Omotayo is Ibrahim’s running mate in line with an earlier court order which INEC said it was complying with.
Ibrahim had brought up a bribery allegation against INEC, which the commission denied.
Conflicting court orders had earlier thrown INEC into dilemma over who to announce as the candidate of the PDP.
Contrary to the earlier court order, a High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday restrained the electoral body from substituting or replacing the name of Jegede as candidate.
Justice William Olamide gave the ruling yesterday based on an exparte motion brought before the court by the Clement Faboyede-led PDP in the state.
Justice Olamide said it would be out of order for INEC to replace or substitute Jegede’s name pending the determination of the motion on notice as this would contravene the principles of equity, justice and fairness.
He directed the PDP to ensure service of the order herein granted, which is the motion on notice and originating summons on INEC before the next date of hearing which was fixed for November 7.
The judgment reads in part: “It is hereby ordered as prayed. The defendant/respondent is hereby restrained either by itself, chairman, commissioners, agents and servants, officers or privies or through any person or persons, howsoever from changing, replacing, removing, substituting or in any manner tampering with the name, Eyitayo Jegede SAN as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the governorship election slated for November 26, 2016 pending the determination of motion on notice.
“In the interest of justice and fair hearing, the claimant/applicant is hereby ordered to ensure service of the order herein granted, the motion on notice and originating summons on the defendant/respondent before the next date of hearing.”
Also yesterday, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja dismissed an application filed by Jegede, who is the candidate of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction.
Jegede had approached the court, seeking leave to be joined as a defendant in the matter so as to appeal the judgment delivered on October 14 in favour of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the party.
Justice Abang had on October 14, ordered INEC to accept Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate.
The ruling was based on the application brought by the Chairman and Secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, Prince Biyi Poroye and Ademola Genty, and their counterparts in Osun and Oyo states.
The application was for the enforcement of the June 29 judgment of the court affirming Poroye, Genty and others, who emerged from the May 10 congresses of the party in the South west, as the authentic leaders of the party in the Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Lagos states.