A Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Osun State, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has petitioned the party’s leadership, alleging the rigging of the party’s primary in favour of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Adeleke was declared the winner of the Osun State PDP governorship primary which held last Saturday.
The serving senator was declared the winner with 1,569 ahead of Ogunbiyi, who recorded 1,562 votes.
Ogunbiyi has, however, rejected the poll’s result, insisting that it was rigged in Adeleke’s favour.
According to a statement on Tuesday, Ogunbiyi, who came behind Adeleke with only seven votes, alleged that the primary was fraught with malpractices, particularly violation of Section 177 (d) of the Nigerian constitution by Adeleke.
Ogunbiyi said contrary to the requirement of Section 177(d) of Nigeria’s constitution, Adeleke had no secondary school certificate and was not qualified, in the first place, to have contested the primary.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke submitted a document purported to be a testimonial as evidence that he was educated up to the senior secondary; a document which does not suffice to meet the basic qualifications stipulated by the constitution and the Electoral Act.
“The date of issue on the purported testimonial submitted by Senator Adeleke was altered with a pen. The Principal of Muslim Grammar School, Ede, Osun State, Mr Khalid Abbas, who purportedly signed the testimonial, had not been posted to the school in question as of the date indicated on the document.
“The principal, who purportedly issued the testimonial to Senator Adeleke, has denied ever issuing or signing it and the denial is very well on record,” Ogunbiyi contended.
While calling on the PDP to look into the allegation, Ogunbiyi warned that if not addressed, the PDP might not have an eligible candidate for the September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election.
He added, “Contrary to Section 30(e) of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2018, the total number of delegates accredited for the primary election was not announced before the commencement of voting. However, at the end of the exercise, the chairman of the panel announced 3,246 as total accredited delegates, which is contrary to figures subsequently entered on the result sheet as 3,242.”
Meanwhile, two members of the PDP in Osun State – Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu – have approached the Osun State High Court, seeking Adeleke’s disqualification on the alleged grounds that he lacked requisite certification.
Joined as defendants in the suit, filed on Monday, were the PDP, its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, state chairman, Soji Adagunodo, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The plaintiffs are praying for an interlocutory order setting aside Adeleke’s victory at the primary.
The party members urged the court to restrain the PDP from forwarding Adeleke’s name to INEC as its candidate for the September 22 governorship election in Osun State.
They equally prayed the court to restrain INEC from accepting Adeleke as the PDP flag bearer, should his name be sent to the election umpire.