FOLLOWING the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Chief Clement Faboyede, on Saturday, said it had nothing to do with the party’s governorship standard bearer, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, describing the ruling as a mere distraction.
Faboyede, who stated this during a press conference in Akure, Ondo State capital, however, said the party had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the ruling.
The PDP chairman cleared the air over the speculation that Lagos businessman, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, had been given the party’s governorship ticket by Friday’s court ruling in Abuja, explaining that neither Jegede nor Ibrahim was a party to the suit, which has so far yielded two rulings from the same court, noting that the ruling was misinterpreted.
He, however, said legal steps had been taken to affirm the validity of Jegede’s candidature, describing the ruling as an unholy alliance to subvert the will of the people. He added that the suit sought to determine the tenure and membership of the State Executive Committee of the party in the South-West zone.
He said: “the suit sought to determine the tenure and membership of the State Executive Committee of PDP in the South-West zone and in addition sought directions in respect of party primaries for 2019 general elections. Essentially, the claimants sought, inter alia, a declaration that they were the people entitled to deal with nomination of candidates for 2019 general elections. It should be noted that the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for 26th November, 2016 was not part of the plaintiffs’ claim and no reference was made to it in the claim.
In another development, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has responded to the face-off between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State over the alleged training of political thugs in the state, denying that it was training and aiding political thugs to cause trouble in the forthcoming election in the state.
A statement issued and signed by the state commandant of the NSCDC, Adeyinka Fasiu, who described the allegation against the command as unfounded, baseless and untrue, said the only training exercise conducted by the command, which took place within the premises of the command recently, was that of the men and officers of the command.
“Surprisingly and most shockingly, the same Olagoke Fakunle (SAN) who took out the summons appeared for the defendants. In other words, he took out the summons for the plaintiffs on one hand and appeared as counsel for one of the defendants on the other.
According to the PDP chairman, the ruling only derived from a contempt proceeding against the INEC, “wherein the presiding judge directed INEC to receive the nomination papers of Jimoh Ibrahim from the applicants as State Executive of the PDP.”
He said this action by the lower court was at variance with numerous decisions of the Supreme Court that it is only the National Executive of a political party that has the responsibility to submit names of candidates to the INEC.
He said that “His Lordship’s order made no pronouncement in respect of the status of Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the candidate of PDP, neither did he make reference to the list of candidates published by INEC, subject of the governorship election.
“Mr.Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP Governorship Candidate in Ondo State was not a party to any of the processes filed, no order was also made against him. Jimoh Ibrahim referred to in the latest decision was also not a party to the two cases.