The Peoples Democratic Party has forwarded the name of Senator Ademola Adeleke to the Independent National Electoral Commission as its Osun State candidate for the September 22 governorship election in the state.
The party discarded the appeal filed by Dr Akin Ogunbiyi (who came second in the party’s primary) against Adeleke.
Our correspondent gathered that the Appeal Committee of the party examined Ogunbiyi’s grounds of appeal and found them “unworthy to warrant disqualifying Adeleke from the race or overturning his victory.”
The Appeal Committee, which met in Abuja on Monday night, was said to have handed over INEC forms to Adeleke on Tuesday morning.
Adeleke, who was also introduced to the National Executive Committee meeting of the party on Monday evening by the Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio, as the party’s candidate for the election, reportedly submitted his form to the commission on Tuesday.
“We have upheld the outcome of the primary. Senator Adeleke remains the candidate of the party in Osun State,” the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, told our correspondent.
Ogunbiyi, in his petition, claimed that he won the contest. He asked that he be declared the candidate of the party in the governorship election.
Ogunbiyi, who polled 1,562 against Adeleke’s 1,569 votes, insisted that the primary was manipulated in favour of Adeleke.
He argued that 42 voided votes and 128 unaccounted votes belonged to him, claiming that the total votes he garnered were 1,732.
Ogunbiyi also questioned Adeleke’s eligibility to contest the primary, insisting that a document allegedly submitted by the lawmaker as evidence of his educational qualification up to school certificate level did not meet the basic qualification stipulated by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act.
He said, “I wish to submit that Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke is not eligible to contest as a governorship candidate of the PDP having failed to meet the requirements as stipulated by Section 117 (D) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“Senator Adeleke submitted a document purported to be a testimonial as evidence that he was educated up to senior secondary certificate which is not suffice to meet the basic qualification 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, 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.”
Meanwhile, Justice David Oladimeji of the Osun State High Court has reserved ruling till Thursday in the application for an interim order to set aside the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary election which produced Senator Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the contest.
Two members of the PDP, Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu, has dragged the PDP governorship candidate to court over the allegation that he did not possess a West African School Certificate Examination result which is a constitutional requirement to contest for the governorship election.
The counsel for the applicants, Mr Olufemi Ayandokun, prayed the court for an interim order to set aside the primary and to restrain the PDP from submitting Adeleke’s name to INEC as the flag bearer as well and an interim order restraining the electoral body from accepting Adeleke as the candidate of the party.
The counsel told the court that the first applicant deposed to a 29 paragraph affidavit containing eight exhibits while urging the court to grant his prayers.