Aspirant seeks cancellation of PDP chairmanship election, alleges deliberate name omission
Prof. Taoheed Adedoja seeking cancellation of PDP Chairmanship election
By Rasaq Bamidele
Abuja, Nigeria. Dec. 18, 2017 (AltAfrika)-The last seems not have been heard of the National Convention of the opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Convention held on December 9 and 10 that produced the national officials of the party.
One of the chairmanship aspirants, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, on Monday, December 18, 2017, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Capital City of the country calling for the cancellation of the result for the election of the National Chairman at the last Convention on the ground of the exclusion of his name from the election ballot boxes:
Addressing a press conferenceProf. Taoheed Adedoja at Grand Ibro Hotel Abuja, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja said, after rigorous campaign and wider consultations, it was a surprise that on the day of the election, December 09, 2017, his name was excluded from all the places it was supposed to appear.
His words: “In preparation for the convention where National Officers of the party would be elected. My nationwide rigorous consultations and campaigns lasted for about 16 months. I undertook extensive campaign tour of different parts of Nigeria peacefully and decently with no case of violence, unfavourable speeches or running down of any other aspirants either by me or by any of my supporters towards the national convention held on December 09, 2017.
“I went to the convention for the position of national chairman of the party with the strong belief that the party needed a chairman with wide experience, acceptability across Nigeria, integrity and a man with fresh and innovative ideas with a view to bringing intellectualism to the governance of the party.
“Towards achieving this, I paid the necessary nomination fee, obtained and returned the national chairmanship nomination form; I was invited for screening and subsequently screened with clearance certificate issued to me at a well-attended ceremony at the PDP headquarters in Abuja on Thursday December 07, 2017.
“Surprisingly however, on the election day of December 09, 2017, my name was deliberately excluded from the list of national chairmanship contestant posted on the ballot boxes/cubicles meant for the election of national chairman of the party, thereby, wilfully and unlawfully excluded me from participating in the said election of national chairman of the party that took place on December 09, 2017.”
According to him, the development was “a flagrant violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); the electoral act, 2010 (as amended); the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party and the guidelines for the conduct of the 2017 national convention of the party.”
Against this backdrop, Adedoja said, “My lawyers Messrs Rickey Tarfa & Co. has filed a suit this morning at the Federal High Court in Abuja with suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1225/2017 between Prof. Taoheed Adedoja and (1) Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa (2) Dr. Ibrahim Umar (3) Prince Uche Secondus (4) PDP and (5) INEC, seeking among others:
1. Pray the court to declare the election of national chairman of PDP held at Eagle Square in Abuja on December 09, 2017, null and void
2. Pray the court to declare as null and void any document submitted by PDP or by the purported occupier of the position of the national chairman to INEC;
3. Pray the court for the cancellation of the national chairmanship election held on Saturday December 09, 2017 at Eagle Square Abuja
4. Pray the court to order the conduct of another elective National Convention for the election of national chairman within 30 days of nullification of the elective national convention held on December 09, 2017
5. Restrain INEC from recognizing Uche Secondus as the National Chairman of PDP on the ground that the election where Uche Secondus was declared national chairman of PDP, where I was unlawfully excluded from the list of the contestants for the position of national chairman of PDP is a flagrant violation of the electoral act, the constitution of PDP, the guidelines for the conduct of PDP national convention, and the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Having built a political career for 14 years, the declaration of a zero (0) score by PDP credited to me has embarrassed and maligned me and brought great ridicule to my political standing and goodwill nationally and internationally. Since the announcement of the result, I have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the public ridicule the election result has caused me, my family members, friends, political associates and numerous supporters across the country.”
In the suit filed, his lawyers are demanding for appropriate compensation for damages, ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute brought to my name as a result of my wilful exclusion from participating in the election resulting to zero (0) score credited to my name which is now in public domain.
“I was a signatory to the peace accord signed by all chairmanship aspirants to the effect that the outcome of the election will be accepted by all national chairmanship aspirants with the proviso that the election will be free and fair. In this case the election was not free and fair hence seeking redress in the court of law,” Adedoja concluded.