The Ogun State Chapter of the party suspended Mr Lawal and four others for organising the “Illegal primary”
The national executive of the People Democratic Party (PDP) has disowned a fresh primary election conducted by a group loyal to an aspirant of the party in Ogun State, Jimi Lawal.
The party dissociated itself from the primary election through a disclaimer sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Friday.
“We write to draw the attention of the Commission to a purported primary election conducted by some persons claiming to be State Executive Members of our party, allegedly held on Monday, 17th October 2022, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital,” the PDP stated in a letter to INEC by Iyorchia Ayu and Samuel Anyanwu, the party’s national chairman and secretary respectively.
“This is coming days after the 14 days ordered by the Federal High Court for the party to conduct a fresh primary election.
“The 14 days ordered by the Federal High Court, Abeokuta division within which the party was to conduct a fresh primary election lapsed on Tuesday, 10th October, 2022, and no fresh primaries was conducted in Ogun State, the party having resolved to go on appeal and rightly so.
“This, being our position, we were surprised to read both on print media and online media that some persons claiming to be part of a faction of the party conducted a fresh primary on behalf of the party on Monday, 17th October, 2022, 7 days after the 14 days ordered by the Federal High Court, Abeokuta division which the party appealed against has lapsed.”
The Ogun State chapter of the party suspended Mr Lawal and four others for organising the “illegal primary.”
Last month, a Federal High Court in Abeokuta nullified all the primary election nullified all the held by the PDP, asking the party to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days.
But the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) appealed the judgment, insisting that the party will not conduct another primary in the state.
In the letter to INEC, the PDP stated that Section 50 of the party’s constitution empowers its NWC acting on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to formulate guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels.
It added that the NWC “shall be the final authority for resolving all disputes relating to the choice of candidates for the party for any election and for conveying to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or any other authority to whom it may concern, confirming the names or list of names of candidates of the party in any elective office in the federation. This section enjoys a plethora of judicial backings.”
The party further called the attention of the electoral umpire to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, saying, “The Act provides that all correspondence between the Commission and political parties must be signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party and not State Executives.
“We are by this letter, notifying the commission of this illegality and to further inform the Commission that the National Working Committee is dissociating itself from the said fresh primary election conducted by persons other than the National Working Committee. We do not recognize these persons involved in this illegality.”
The party however advised the electoral umpire, “to refrain from accepting any letters or correspondences written on behalf of the party by any State Executive of Ogun State and should be circumspect in its dealings with these persons in the future.”