The Ogun State Independent National Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) said it will recognise the list of candidates forwarded by the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the October 8 local government/Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) election.
Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, on Wednesday, the chairman of the Screening Committee, Mr Mutiu Agboke, said the electoral body arrived at the decision, based on an injunction of the Ogun State High Court delivered by Justice Mobolaji Ojo, on May 26.
Agboke, who is the Commissioner III of the electoral body, said that the Sikirullahi Ogundele faction of the party would participate in the election.
Agboke said the State High Court specifically addressed the issue of giving recognition to Ogundele’s faction, as against conflicting judgements of Federal High Courts of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt on the crisis rocking the party.
He said that the order of the high court had not been set aside by any appellate court, hence the decision of the body to abide by it.
He added that it would not be right for the commission to shut its eyes on the order in the interest of the election.
He said, “This commission is not here to sit as an appeal court over the various existing court judgements and unfortunately the judgements have not assisted the commission. In one breath, they appeared conflicting.
“A faction submitted a court judgement to us, the ruling of my Lord, Justice Mobolaji Ojo of Ogun State High Court and the order of the court is so clear and the order, as filled in that case, specifically was given to give recognition to that faction of the party in the state.
“By the virtue of the order of Honourable Justice Mobolaji Ojo in Ogun State, we are going to declare the Sikiru Ogundele-led faction of the PDP as a faction to be recognised and eligible to contest for the election.
“We are going to recognise the list of candidates that has been put forward by Sikiru Ogundele-led faction of PDP and we are going to release the list of eligible candidates to the faction.
“For us, this will put to rest the question of which of the factions of PDP to recognise in the state. The order of Lord Justice was delivered on May 26, 2016 and that order is very clear.”
Agboke explained that 784 councillorship and 207 chairmanship candidates will contest the election, adding that all disqualifications were on basis of age.