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#OndoDecides: Pro-Democracy Coalition Urges INEC To Ignore Jimoh Ibrahim

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Ahead of the release of the final list of governorship candidates for Ondo State, a Pro-Democracy Coalition has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to fall for the blackmail and antics of Jimoh Ibrahim, but to defend democracy and the law.

The group also tasked INEC to stand by the various judgements of the Supreme Court in “Emeka vs Okadigbo & Ors (2012) 18 NWLR (pt1331) 55; Emenike vs PDP (2012) 18 NWLR (pt 1315) 556; Oguebego vs PDP; to the effect that the appropriate organ of a party empowered to conduct primaries and submit names of its candidates for the purposes of general election is the National Executive Committee.”

Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC) said that a subsisting judgement of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Okonkwo vs INEC, further asserted that: “It is settled law that the state executive committee organ of a political party lacks power to nominate candidates for an election. It is only the primary election conducted by the national executive committee of a party that is valid to be submitted to INEC for the purpose of an election and no other arm.”

The coalition in an e-mailed statement by it co-convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, consequently reminded INEC of “the judgements of the Federal High Court on the PDP leadership: delivered by Justices Abdulahi Liman, Valentine Ashi and Nnwamaka Ogbonnaya; the combined import of which validates and authenticates the Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee of PDP.

“When read together, these judgements point to the fact that only the Makarfi led PDP NEC can submit names of candidates to INEC. And this has been done in respect of Ondo State, and no any other body or institution has the power to act otherwise,” it added.

CDNDC described the legal voyage of the businessman Ibrahim as “an exercise in futility,” meant to distract INEC and create an electoral logjam that could undermine the neutrality and consistency of the commission on PDP matters.

The coalition equally noted that: “the latest interview granted by Jimoh Ibrahim in the Punch Newspapers, where he accused INEC of planning to rig for the PDP, has further shown that he is a not a member of that party, but a meddlesome interloper seeking to destroy or benefit where he did not sow.”

“In the interest of democracy and our laws, we wish to draw the attention of INEC to the consistent fact that Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim is not a current member of the PDP but a busybody who most likely has a personal score to settle with some persons in the PDP.

“He is still a registered member of the Accord Party and has not in anyway resigned his membership of that party. He must not be allowed to manipulate INEC in the manner he has succeeded in tricking Justice Okon Abang to build something on nothing with a baseless judgement.

“We urge INEC to take cognizance of all these facts and act appropriately in the interest of democracy and legal Justice,” the coalition added.

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