The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to annul the recent election of former Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), claiming that it was not held in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
Oshiomhole was returned unopposed and along with 21 other unchallenged prospective national officers, was elected by affirmation at the national convention of the party held last weekend in Abuja.
But speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation from his Kabba Bunu community in Kogi State, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, faulted the procedure and asked INEC to declare Oshiomhole and others’ election void on the ground that they were not returned through the ballot.
According to the PDP spokesman, INEC had declared similar action null and void when it elected its officers through voice vote in 2012.
He said: “We want to recall that in 2012 we had a convention which INEC declared a nullity because they said we did not follow the rules. As we speak today, the coronation that the EFCC conducted at Eagle Square did not fit into any of our electoral laws. And we, therefore, call on INEC to declare it null and void.
“All those who did not go through votes at the convention, all those who were elected by voice votes, INEC must declaration their elections null and void because they did not go through the electoral laws.”
Although APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, told THISDAY that the party would respond to the PDP’s query at the appropriate time, INEC said it would only act if a party violated its own constitution or guidelines in the conduct of the business of its convention.
Speaking with THISDAY on the telephone, NEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Osaze Uzzi, said until the commission gets the report of the convention, it would not make a categorical statement.
Ologbondiyan in his presentation to the delegation that visited him cited Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act (as Amended) as stating: “The election of members of the executive committee or other governing body of a political party, including the election to fill a vacant position in any of these bodies, shall be conducted in a democratic manner and allowing for all members of the party or duly elected delegates to vote in support of a candidates of their choice.”
He also cited Article 20 of the APC Constitution, which he quoted as providing, “Unless otherwise provided for, all party posts prescribed or implied by this Constitution shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective National Convention or Congress subject, where possible, to consensus, Provided that where a Candidate has emerged by consensus for an elective position, a vote of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by ballot shall be called, to ensure that it was not an imposition which could breed discontent and crisis.”
– This Day