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INEC Speaks On Edo APC Primary Election Controversy




Ondo Guber: Only 19 Parties Have Submitted Candidates' Details – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would only acknowledge the results of Saturday’s governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State conducted by the committee appointed by the national leadership of the party.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Anugbum Onuoha, said this in an interview with reporters on Monday in Benin, the state capital.

He added that INEC would only reckon with the exercise conducted at the venue communicated by the APC national leadership.

According to him, in the Edo State case, the venue communicated to INEC by the APC national leadership was Lushville Hotel and Suites.

Onuoha said by the decision of the Supreme Court, only the national leadership of a political party and not the state leadership could determine the venue of a primary election.

The Edo State REC said INEC monitored the exercise and would only reckon with results declared at the venue committed to it by the national leadership of the party.

He said, “The Supreme Court has taken a decision on the monitoring of party primaries, that party primaries are duties of the parties.

“Our own is to supervise, and in doing such supervision, the party will tell us the venue. It is not the state chapter of the party that will tell us the venue.

“The national body of the parties will write to INEC national chairman of the venue, and the date and the time of the primary, and that we have followed strictly.

“Any political party primaries that was not minuted to us by our headquarters, we will not monitor. We were notified by APC and we monitored the one we were invited to at Lushville Hotel. I was there.”

The REC warned aspirants and political parties to stop campaigning for the governorship election with immediate effect or face sanction.

He said that the commission had yet to lift the suspension on campaigns, noting that parties and candidates were expected to begin campaigning on April 24.

Naija News had reported that the Edo APC primary held last Saturday produced three ‘winners’.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, who is the Chairman of the Edo State Primary Election Committee, announced Dennis Idahosa as the winner at Protea Hotel.

The state Returning Officer, Stanley Ugboaja, held a parallel primary and declared Monday Okpebholo as the winner.

Also, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local government declared Anamero Dekeri as the winner of the election.

The National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, had congratulated Idahosa, who was declared winner by Uzodimma.

But the Edo State leadership of the party have rejected the results declared by Uzodimma, insisting that only the state Returning Officer could declare the winner.

On Monday, Dekeri, who was the third winner to emerge, stormed the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, demanding to be issued with a Certificate of Return as the winner of the poll.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.