The Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, Thursday, gave reasons why the commission dropped the name of the Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate for Ondo election, Eyitayo Jegede and announced that of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction, Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate for the party.
Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim
While speaking to newsmen, Agbaje said Mr. Ibrahim was approved as candidate based on an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang.
Recall that Justice Abang had on October 14, declared Mr. Ibrahim as the true candidate of the PDP and equally on Thursday, Mr. Abang rejected a plea by Mr. Jegede seeking to be allowed to appeal the October 14 court judgment.
It is based on the two court rulings that INEC approved Mr. Ibrahim as the PDP candidate.
“We received a court order from the High Court in Akure and that was yesterday (Wednesday), but there was a subsisting one by Justice Abang today (Thursday), that is what happened,” Mr. Agbaje said.
In the final list released Thursday night, INEC also announced Chief Olusola Oke as the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy AD.
Signed by the commission’s Secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, the list also showed that Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu remains the candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC.
However, asked if another court order can upturn the situation, Mr. Agbaje said INEC would have no choice but to drop Mr. Ibrahim if another superior order comes in favour of Mr. Jegede.
“That is why we put in front of the name ‘court order,’ to show that the name was picked as a result of an order of the court,” he said.
“The situation will continue that way until the matter is decided by the Supreme Court if the parties choose to proceed to the apex court.”
The commissioner said the politicians had brought themselves into a tight corner, noting that instead of going to the Court of Appeal, they were jumping from one high court to the other.
“Now they have to go on appeal at a higher court,” he said. “They are the ones undoing themselves and like I said, we do not have any candidate. We will only abide by the laws guiding the process.”