The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are at loggerheads over the candidates expected to contest on the platform of the PDP in the 2019 election.
In a letter sent to Uche Secondus, PDP National Chairman, INEC said it would only recognise candidates of the Buruji Kashamu-led faction. However, a statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologboniyan, emphasised that the faction is not recognised by the party.
In the letter dated October 25, the commission said the decision was based on a court verdict which recognised the Ogun State PDP leadership led by Adebayo Dayo, a loyalist of Kashamu, who had been expelled from the party.
PDP had expelled Kashamu and some party members on the allegation that they were working with the opposition. Following Kashamu’s expulsion, the party dissolved the leadership of the Dayo-led faction.
Kashamu went to the Federal High Court in Abeokuta to challenge the party's decision and secured a ruling in his favour.
The electoral commission said the Federal High Court had ordered it to recognise the Dayo-led state executive committee of the PDP in Ogun State and received the list of candidates for the 2019 governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly elections from the said committee.
INEC stated that except there is another order setting aside the ruling of the court, the commission will accept the candidates of the Dayo-led faction.
However, the PDP National Publicity Secretary countered INEC's position, insisting that the commission cannot prioritise the list from the state chapter of the party.
He said: “According to our statutes and all the laws governing elections in Nigeria, INEC cannot take a list from a state chapter of the party. INEC takes list from the national headquarters of the party. So if it claimed that it had gone to take any list from anywhere, it is unknown to us and it is unknown to the rule guiding elections in Nigeria.
“They acknowledged all the names that we submitted to them. So, it is totally strange, unknown to the rules and unknown to the PDP that INEC is claiming that it has another list. We are not aware.”