The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to remove the name of Eyitayo Jegede and replace it with that of Ibrahim Jimoh as the PDP Candidate for next month’s governorship election in Ondo State.
The chief press secretary to the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Mr. Rotimi Oyekamni, said yesterday that the commission would abide by the order to accept Ibrahim when served with the valid court judgement, and if there was no overriding ruling from a superior court.
Oyekamni said INEC, as a creation of the law, would obey any order validly made by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“If, indeed, the court has asked us to replace the PDP candidate, we have no option than to obey. That is the tradition, if the court order comes and we get the judgement, then we will substitute because that is a court order. But I am not sure that we have received that judgement. If we have, definitely, we will obey.
“Again, if there is another court order that is superior to the earlier one, we will also reverse our action. As you can see in similar cases, we normally put the prefix, ‘court order’ beside the candidate’s name to indicate its status. I want to
assure you that if there is valid court judgement on any issue, INEC will obey.”
On June 29 2016, Justice Okon Abang had ordered INEC to accept only the names of candidates sent by the faction of the Ondo State Executive Committee of PDP led by Biyi Poroye and Ademola Genty, which has the backing of the Sheriff-led National Working Committee.
Friday’s ruling ordering INEC to accept Jimoh Ibrahim, the nominee of a faction of PDP led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, as the party’s candidate was simply the result of an application for enforcement.
Meanwhile the PDP national caretaker committee said Jegede remained the party’s candidate for the forthcoming election, stressing that the issue of candidacy is not a matter in the case in question.
As the discontent within the PDP family continues, an inside source has told Versatile Reporters that Gov.Mimiko quickly reached out to Jimoh Ibrahim when he received the news of the Abang judgement with a whooping N2billion but was severely disappointed when Jimoh rejected the offer and insisted that “The Peoples’ mandate is not for sale”. Gov.Mimiko is at the moment working on other options to resolve the legal tussle for the party’s flag so that its chances will not be jeopardised at the election.