Okoi Obono-Obla, a disgraced former presidential aide and, now, spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress, APC, campaign council in Cross River State, has claimed that the presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi is not eligible for next month’s presidential election.
Obono-Obla, who was dismissed as President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide under a cloud of corruption, in an interview in Calabar on Friday, January 13, 2023, said that at the time Peter Obi contested and won the LP ticket, he was not a member of a political party.
But the chairman and governorship candidate of the LP in Cross River State, Ogar Osim said in their party, they have waivers.
In response, Osim simply sent an SMS: “There’s a provision for waiver in Labour Party.”
However, the APC campaign council spokesman quoted section 77 of the Electoral Act 2022, saying “each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy and to make such register available to the Independent National Electoral Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses, and conventions. ”
According to Obono-Obla, “On April 30, 2022, INEC demanded all political parties to submit registers of its members. The Labour Party held its presidential primaries on 31 May 2022. Peter Obi joined the Labour Party on 27 May 2022. It follows that as of 31 May 2022 when Peter Obi purportedly won the ticket of the Labour Party, his name was not on the register of the Labour Party which had been submitted to INEC in compliance with the requirement of Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022.”
Obono-Obla, a lawyer, explained that one of the constitutional requirements to become a President is that the candidate must belong to a political party, which he said Peter Obi was not.