The primary election appeal panel of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) has, in a 16-page report, recommended the cancellation of the September 3, 2016 primary election that produced Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), as the party’s flagbearer for the governorship election in the state.
The panel also recommended that a re-run primary should be held immediately to beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) and also advised the national leadership of the party to, in conducting another primary, make use of the delegates’ list which was distributed to aspirants in Abuja, before the primary elections.
The report was signed by head of the committe, Mrs. Hellen Bendega, Mallam Musa Umar and another member, Nikky Eze.
LEADERSHIP recalls that 24 aspirants participated in the primary which was supervised by Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru.
The committee further recommended that a final and properly harmonised list acceptable to all contenders should be compiled after elections and that the delegates’ list should be released ahead of the primary, to prevent a situation where it could be doctored in favour of an aspirant and also allow adequate time for the take off of elections.
While pointing out that there was substantial compliance with rules during the primary, the Bendega-led panel however said the consideration may not be sufficient reason to ignore such serious and weighty, identified irregularities.
Part of the report read: “In view of the change mantra of this administration, it is pertinent that the party blazes the trail by refusing to condone a less than perfect exercise. We, therefore, formally submit our recommendations for the National Working Committee (NWC) to use its discretionary powers in line with the APC constitution and the Electoral Act to arrive at a final decision.”
The committee received six petitions from three aspirants,
Chief Olusola Oke, Dr. Olusegun Abraham and Prof. Ajayi Boroffice as well as the chairman of Ondo Central APC, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, his Ondo East counterpart, Mr. Akintunde Temitope, and Mrs. Toyin Ajinde, a delegate, during its sitting.
While Oke called for the nullification of the primary, saying he received two different delegates’ lists before the election, Abraham called for a fresh primary, citing insertion of 157 fake names in the delegates’ list and cases of multiple voting by delegates and Boroffice said the primary was not credible because the delegates’ list was fraudulent, just as there was improper accreditation of delegates.