Ebonyi PDP gov primary ‘winner’ petitions panel over cancellation plot

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The winner of the May 28 and 29 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Ebonyi State, Dr Ifeanyi Odii, has criticised an alleged move by the party’s national leadership to deny him the right to participate in the forthcoming poll.

Odii notified the 2022 Ebonyi State Gubernatorial Appeal Panel via a June 8, 2022 letter, that he defeated two other aspirants in the primary and was returned duly elected with 349 votes.

He urged the panel to obey Section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and encourage aggrieved persons to follow the law and seek redress in court.

“This step is to avoid taking decisions that will be considered as contempt of a court judgment,“ he warned, adding that  “aggrieved persons still have an option of approaching the Court of Appeals to challenge his victory.”

Odii, a member of the Lagos State University Governing Council, said the  May 28 and 29 exercise was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “from the beginning to the end” in accordance with Section 84(1), with INEC issuing an official report validating the election.

He said he learnt of a plot by “some members of the National Working Committee” of the PDP  to unlawfully cancel the already conducted primary over their personal interests.

The philanthropist recalled that he approached the Federal High Court, Abakaliki Division, in suit number FHC/AI/CS/88/2022, to challenge the power of the party to cancel an already conducted primary election.

Odii wondered why the PDP conducted another primary on June 4 and 5 and purportedly issued a certificate of return to the alleged winner, Senator Obinna Ogba, in clear disregard of a court ruling and electoral law.

His words: “Judgment was entered in this case on Tuesday 7th June 2022 wherein the court upheld my victory and declared the subsequent primary election of 4th and 5th June 2022 as invalid, null and void.”

The court also ordered the party’s NWC not to hinder any move to forward my name to INEC as the authentic winner of the May 28.29 primary. ”

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