- Says its conduct on Saturday will violate the law
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ondo Stare governorship election, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the election slated for Saturday, November 26, 2016 for at least 30 days.
According to him, the postponement would allow the party to submit a list of its agents in good time before the election as provided for in the Electoral Act 2010.
The Act stipulates that each party should make their party agents available to the commission, 14 days before the day of election.
The Biyi Poroye faction of the PDP had submitted a list of party agents to the commission before the expiration of the deadline for Jimoh Ibrahim, who was removed by Wednesday’s Appeal Court judgment.
Jegede, who led a protest to the INEC state headquarters at Alagbaka, in Akure on Thursday, told the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje that the postponement was necessary in order not to be in breach of the Electoral Act.
He also submitted a letter he addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yahkoob, demanding the postponement of the election.
“It follows from the foregoing that any list of agents purportedly forwarded by one Poroye and his fellow pretenders who had been illegally parading themselves as the state executive members of the PDP, Ondo State cannot be regarded as authentic,” the letter read in part.
“As it is, the Peoples Democratic Party has not forwarded the list of its agents to the commission.
“Whichever way one may look at the situation on ground, the governorship election of Ondo state slated for 26th November, if conducted, will undoubtedly be in breach of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“It is in light of the foregoing that I request you to defer the governorship election for Ondo State for at least 30 days so as not to conduct the election in flagrant violation of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
Agbaje responded that INEC had gone past the issue of postponement, given that it had distributed sensitive materials to all the local governments already for the elections. He insisted that the commission was prepared for the election come Saturday.
“We can no longer talk about postponement of the election right now,” he said. “The matter is an internal dispute within the PDP and so we cannot be talking about postponement.
“If we postpone the election, we will be losing billions of naira knowing that we have already deployed sensitive and non-sensitive materials to all the local government areas of the state.”
He told Jegede that the list of party agents would be received from him and the former one would be discarded.
According to INEC, the materials which were supplied directly from the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in Akure include ballot papers, result sheets and other forms that would be used to collate the results.
Agbaje said adequate security had been provided to escort the materials to the respective local government areas.