The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the Ondo State Governorship election scheduled to hold next Saturday, November 26.
The party said it was making the call due to the non-conclusion of the appeal court case to determine the authentic candidate of the PDP in the election.
Recall that the Appeal Court panel led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, which is hearing the appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede, had on Friday adjourned ruling indefinitely pending the decision of the Supreme Court on some injuctions filed by some of the defendants in the case.
Jegede is asking the appellate court to reverse the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, to the effect that Jimoh Ibrahim was the rightful PDP candidate.
While Jegede and the Ondo State governor, Olusgeun Mimiko, are members of the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP, Ibrahim and a factional chairman of the PDP in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye, belong to the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction.
The Makarfi-led PDP faction, in a statement issued on Saturday by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, said that based on the indefinite adjournment, INEC should postpone the election.
The statement read: “We call on INEC to postpone the Election pending the determination of the suit before the Supreme Court.
“We make this call against the backdrop of the fact that INEC is a party to the suit before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and is well aware of the steps taken by certain parties to the Suit to frustrate the course of justice.”
In the statement, the PDP added that the call for a postponement of the election was in order, given the fact that INEC had postponed the Edo State gubernatorial election and recently postponed the Rivers rerun elections.
The PDP spokesman also condemned what he described as the mischievous actions of the members of the Modu-Sheriff faction, namely: Biyi Poroye, Jimoh Ibrahim and their legal team led by Ben Nwofor, SAN.
“These actions, ranging from unsubstantiated allegations of corruption to outright disrespect and disregard for the Justices of the Court of Appeal to disruption of Court proceedings and flagrant abuse of Court processes, are all designed to achieve one aim – stall proceedings and ensure that the legitimate Candidate of the Party is prevented from contesting the November 26th, 2016 Gubernatorial Election in Ondo State,” the statement noted.
The opposition party also alleged that judges of the Court of Appeal were being intimidated by the recent “arrests and harassment of several judges by men of the Directorate of State Services.”
Adeyeye stated that the DSS raids on Judges in October“are achieving the desired effect as judges are now compelled to refrain from furthering the course of justice by unsubstantiated allegations of corruption.”
He added that the adjournment of the party’s case by the Appeal Court was part of the bigger plan to rig the election.
The PDP spokesman stated: “We are aware that this is part of the plan to use the judicial process, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the election in favour of the ruling party (APC) before the Election Day.
“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to urge the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to desist from the use of organs of the Nigerian state as a tool with which to subvert the will of the Nigerian people.”
The statement added that the federal government, INEC, APC and the Jimoh Ibrahim group, should be held responsible “for any consequences of the dangerous games that they have chosen to play with the Nigerian people.”
It also urged the Supreme Court to as a matter of urgency consider the cases before it, bearing in mind that “Justice delayed is justice denied.”