Edo APC primary: Idahosa petitions INEC chairman

Hon. Dennis Idahosa

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State over the last February, governorship primary seems unabated, as Hon Dennis Idahosa, one of the aspirants, has petitioned the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, urging him not to accept any other name as the candidate of the party apart from himself.

DAILY POST reports that the lawmaker, representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the National Assembly in the petition dated

March 4, 2024, was written by Wole Olanipekun,SAN, and marked WOC/ABJ/VOL.01/074/2024.

In the petition addressed to Professor Mahmud Yakubu, INEC National Chairman, Idahosa said a legal action with Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024 between himself vs Senator Monday Okpebholo, the APC and the INEC has already been instituted with Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024 where he is claiming the candidacy of the party and urged INEC to take cognizance of the suit.

In the suit, Idahosa said that he won the February 17, 2024, governorship primary that was monitored by the INEC.

He opined that in the primary, he was declared winner and argued that there was no basis for the supplementary election ordered by the leadership of the party as no reason was given for the decision.

He also contended that the February 22, rerun primary was not a standalone election but a continuation of the February 17 exercise and that the results of the February 17 exercise cannot be jettisoned.

According to him, the records of INEC will show that, under your leadership, the Commission monitored the Edo State APC primary election for the nomination of the governorship candidate of the APC pursuant to the prior notification that the primary election will specifically hold on February 17, 2024.

“The primary election was indeed held, and our client garnered 40,453 votes (a copy of the result certified by INEC is attached herein as Annexure 1).

“INEC’s report of monitoring the election confirms that. And, at the end of the process, our client was returned as the duly elected candidate of the APC (a copy of the INEC report as certified by the Commission is attached as Annexure 2).

“The APC primary election committee that conducted the election also confirmed that our client won the election, as evidenced by a report signed by all members of the committee (without a single instance of dissent).

“Our client is aware that the APC subsequently confirmed to INEC that the primary election was held as scheduled on February 17, 2024. However, without giving any reason, indicated that the election was inconclusive and will be completed on February 22, 2024, and invited INEC to monitor the completion exercise.

“At the end and in respect of the completion exercise, Senator Monday Okpebholo was said to have scored 12, while our client was allocated 6,541 votes. Senator Monday Okpebholo scored 100 votes at the primary election of February 17, 2024 (a copy of the result sheet from the completion of the primary election on February 22, 2024, certified by INEC is attached as Annexure 3).

“Our client disagrees that the primary election of February 17, 2024 was inconclusive or that there was any basis to schedule what was described as a completion of the process. Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/ 274/2024 has been instituted to ventilate that challenge,” he said.

He averred that at the moment, INEC is in custody of two results for the APC primary election for the 2024 Governorship election in Edo State, which are those of February 17, 2024, and February 23, 2024, respectively.

He argued that the summation of the votes in both results demonstrates clearly that he won the primary election, even if his votes from the February 17, 2024 results are the only ones reckoned with.

Idahosa also argued that the representation by APC to INEC that the process of February 22, 2024, was a completion acknowledges that it is not a standalone and indeed has its foundation in the election of February 17, 2024.

He, however, urged the commission to appreciate that there are pending reliefs for injunction in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024, and should therefore not take any step that will either pre-empt the court or prejudice the ongoing judicial proceedings.