With barely 24 hours to the conduct of the gubernatorial election in Ondo State, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Kalu Kalu, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja, to restrain the APC and its governorship candidate, Mr Olurotimi Akeredolu, from participating in the poll.
A source at the party’s headquarters disclosed that they may not have a candidate for the Ondo governorship election scheduled for October 10, 2020.
A document seen by DGN indicated that the party notified INEC that it had fixed July 20, 2020 for its primary election in the state and invited the commission to monitor the exercise.
However, the letter with Ref. No. APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/020/013 dated June 17, 2020 was only signed by the Acting National Secretary of the party, Waziri Bulama.
INEC replied the party that the letter violates the provision of Article 4.4 of the commission’s regulations and guidelines for the conduct of party primaries, which requires that such notices must be jointly signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of a political party.
Consequently, INEC rejected the letter and advised the party to do the needful. The letter is signed by the Secretary to the commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-
As a result of the development, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu faces disqualification from the Ondo governorship election as the APC crisis may prevent the submission of names of contestants for the party’s primary.
By provision of Section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, political parties are required to give INEC 21 days notice for the conduct of their primaries for governorship elections.
According to the timetable released by INEC on February 6, 2020, party primaries for the Ondo governorship election begins on July 2 and end on July 25 while the last day for submission of names of candidates is July 28.