Accreditation, Voting Commence In Ondo Poll

Voting is ongoing in the Ondo State 2016 gubernatorial election holding today.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, his All Progressives Congress, APC, counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN have cast their vote.

Rotimi Akeredolu, was seen casting his vote at Unit 6, St Lukes CAC Primary School, Prison Quarters Ajagbule, Owo LG while Jegede was seen casting his own ballot in Akure.

Also, the simultaneous accreditation and voting innovation adopted by INEC commenced today as voters gathered at polling units across Ondo State to choose their next governor.

There was calm in Ondo West Local Government Area of the state as some voters were sighted queuing up to vote.

As at 7:30 am, some residents were seen Boloerunduro, Owena, Oboto, Elemosho, Wasinmi and Ondo heading to polling units while there was heavy presence of security men at various check points.

At Ward 7, Unit 20 in Ondo, voters were already at the polling unit although INEC staff were not yet at their duty post.

Speaking with NAN at Ward 9 Unit 6,Ondo, a resident, Mr Sola Ajakaiye, commended government and INEC for putting in place adequate security measures to ensure peaceful election.

In Igboroko Ward 2, Polling Unit 2, Owo, the Presiding Officer, Miss Busayo Olawale, said all logistics had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free poll.

Similarly, at Igboroko Ward 2,Polling Unit 8,the Assistant Presiding Officer, Mr Amos Ogunbodede, noted that the unit was only waiting for the starting time to commence the electoral process.

In the same vein, Mr Fumen Nuhu, the Presiding Officer of Igboroko Ward 2,Polling Unit1, said that all logistic arrangement had been made.

Voters were sighted casting their votes at Igboroko Ward 2,Unit1.

However, at Ijebu Ward 4, Unit 9, the voters were disappointed because the card reader was not functioning as at 8:51 a.m.

The unit’s presiding officer, Miss Osidi Safia, said that the device would be repaired within five minutes.

There was also a heavy presence of security personnel in all the polling units visited.

In Akure, accreditation and voting also commenced simultaneously at Ward 4 Unit 12 and Obanla Bada’s House Unit 006 Ward 04.

Some security agents as well independent observers were also sighted while voters were on the queue to ensure a smooth electoral process.

Voting commenced at 8:11 a.m. at Unit 9 Ward 2, Sacred Heart Primary school 1 in Akure South Local Government Area.

Mr Bello Ameen, the Presiding Officer, said all the materials were set and working perfectly.

He urged the voters not to panic if the card reader did not recognise any of the fingers as they would still be allowed to vote.

No fewer than 1,280,580 voters with Permanent Voter Cards would decide who the next governor would be out of the 28 contestants in Saturday’s governorship election.

Although 1,659,186 voters were registered for the election, 378,606 did not turn up to collect their PVCs.

Among the major contestants are Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC, Dr Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy.

Others include the candidate of the Accord Party, Mr Oladare Amuda, Mr Yinka Orokoto of the Action Alliance, the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and Chief Adetuwo Ogunjumelo.

Also in the race are the candidate of the Citizens Popular Party, Mr Peter Fasua, the candidate of the Labour Party, Adeuti Stephen and the candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, Mrs Temidola Olagbegi.

Ondo Polls: PDP Candidate, Jegede Submits Protest Letter To INEC, Requests Postponement

Ahead of the Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, has called for the postponement of the election.

Jegede, who got his name back on the list of the candidates that would participate in the election following an order of the Supreme Court, said the list of his party agents had not been received by the Independent National Electoral Commission, adding that his faction of the party had not got a copy of the voters’ register.

Presenting his protest letter to the Resident Electoral Commission in the state, Mr. Segun Agbaje, at the state’s headquarters of the commission in Akure, the state capital on Thursday, the PDP candidate said his request for election postponement was in line with the electoral laws.

He said, ” We want INEC to shift the date of the election to enable me enjoy the privileges the candidates of other parties will enjoy in the election.

” Before now, my party has written to inform INEC on what is needed to be done in line with the provision of the law, they have not replied the letter. There are three conditions for election postponement, these conditions are, violence, natural disaster or any other emergency.

” What we have here is a legal emergency, it must be attended to, it is a legal emergency.

But the REC said there was no going back in conducting the election on Saturday.

He said the commission was ready for the election and there was no way it could shift the election.

Agbaje said, ” We are going to conduct the election on Saturday, there is no going back, it is not the fault of the INEC that parties are having intra-party crisis. It will cost Nigeria a lot of money if the election is postponed.

” We have prepared well for the election, the sensitive materials are already out and to postpone the election, it will cost the election a lot of money.”

He, however, assured that the commission would defend the party if there is any post election litigation over the matter raised.

‘I Am Humbled’- Jimoh Ibrahim Surrenders

In what seems like end of the road for Jimoh Ibrahim, the fired governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the businessman says he has given up the fight for the party’s ticket.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday affirmed Eyitayo Jejede as the candidate for the Saturday’s Governorship election in Ondo State.

A five man panel led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen struck out all appeals challenging the decision of the Appeal Court to replace Jimoh Ibrahim with Eyitayo Jegede.

The latest order came 24 hours after the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led panel explained reinstated Jegede as the authentic candidate of the PDP.

In a tweet Thursday evening, Jimoh Ibrahim said, “I am humbled.”

In series of tweets before the Supreme Court judgment, Ibrahim had said: “The truth is, I feel very relaxed than you can ever imagine until the Supreme Court says otherwise. So lets enjoy the moment.

“The court did not make a consequential order asking INEC to remove my name; so nobody can remove my name from the ballot.

“The judgment is very vague; it is nebulous and ambiguous. INEC cannot dare to remove my name.

“INEC will pay billions of naira in damages if it dares remove my name and replace it with another. What will it be acting on?

“I’m continuing my campaign. Nobody can stop me. I’ll invite you all to the victory party on Sunday, after the election. #OndoDecides

Ondo Polls: Supreme Court Affirms Jegede As PDP Candidate

The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed Eyitayo Jegede as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in this Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo state.

A five-man panel led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen struck out all appeals challenging the decision of the Appeal Court which ordered the reinstatement of Jegede as the PDP candidate in the Ondo election.

The Onnoghen – led panel said all the issues raised by factional Chairman of the PDP in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye, against Jegede had been overtaken by yesterday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal.

Poroye, who is of the Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction had appealed against the ruling of the appeal Court that reinstated Jegede as PDP governorship candidate.

“The decision of the lower court on the substantive matter yesterday 23/11/2016, that decision has rendered the instant interlocutory appeal academic as appellant has the right to, against the said judgement, including the interlocutory ruling,” Onnoghen ruled.

“In this circumstance, this appeal is hereby struck out with no order as to cost.”

Counsel to the factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chairman in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye, Beluolisa Nwofor, challenged the yesterday’s ruling of the Appeal Court, saying his appeal ought to be heard because the election was few days away.

Nwofor said, “This appeal is different in its entirety because this is the only appeal coming before the governorship election of Ondo fixed for Saturday and it cannot be adjourned because time is of the essence.”

Reacting to Nwofor’s argument, counsel to Jegede, Wole Olanipekun contended that hearing Nwofor’s appeal after the appellate court had delivered judgement in the favour of Jegede has rendered the process academic.

“The final judgement of the court delivered yesterday and the ruling makes it pursuit academic,” Olanipekun said.

Jegede Confirmed Again as PDP Candidate as Jimoh Ibrahim Loses At Supreme Court

The final week before Ondo State gubernatorial elections has featured surprising twists and turns. In a campaign that has been fraught with crisis in diverse quarters, the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court has finally helped the divided People’s Democratic Party (PDP) settle on one candidate, Eyitayo Jegede- just two days before elections.
A 5-man panel led by acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen, struck out the interlocutory appeals after hearing them as insisted by Jimoh Ibrahim’s counsel, Barrister Nwofor; thus crushing the last hopes Jimoh Ibrahim fervently claimed on Wednesday.
Following the Court of Appeal’s order for the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare Mr. Eyitayo Jegede as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Saturday governorship election, the other factional candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim proceeded to the highest court of the land, where his appeal was struck out the following day.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, already said Jimoh Ibrahim will be replaced with Eyitayo Jegede. This is because INEC had earlier replaced Jegede’s name with Ibrahim following an earlier ruling of an Abuja Federal High Court.
Reports claim that there was wild jubilation in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Wednesday following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, as pictures of the state residents celebrating on the streets of Akure filtered online.
Leader of the women group, of the PDP, Mrs. Easter Ebiwonjumi, told newsmen that the women in the state were happy about the court’s order against Jimoh Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim in a statement released shortly after Wednesday’s judgement accused the incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko of paying for the judgment with the state treasury, saying that “Mimiko will not succeed himself with Jegede; this is too sure”.

Ondo: Supreme Court Orders Appeal Court To Release Judgement On Jegede Case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which is handling the various cases relating to the dispute over the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship ticket in the forthcoming election in Ondo State, the nod to continue with its proceedings.

In two separate rulings, the five-man panel of the apex court led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, unanimously dismissed the motions asking for stay of the appeal court’s proceedings and others seeking an order disbanding the Justice Saulawa-led panel.

The two categories of motions dismissed by the apex court on Tuesday were filed by nine applicants led by Biyi Poroye, who is the chairman of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the party in Ondo State that is backing business mogul, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, as the party’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming poll.

The apex court arrived at the decisions when 14 separate appeals relating to the dispute over the PDP’s governorship ticket for the forthcoming election in Ondo State came up for hearing on Tuesday.

Other members of the Supreme Court’s panel – Justice Tanko Muhammad, Kumai Akaahs, Kudirat Kekereekun and Ejembi Eko – all agreed with the lead rulings read by Justice Onnoghen.

With the two rulings of the apex court, the Justice Saulawa panel could now go ahead to deliver its reserved judgments on the appeals filed by Eyitayo Jegede and a factional National Chairman of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, challenging Jegede’s replacement by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the party’s governorship candidate for the election scheduled to take place on November 26.

Ibrahim belongs to the Sheriff faction while Jegede is of the Makarfi faction of the party.

Jegede and Makarfi had appealed before the Court of Appeal challenging the orders of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja made on June 29 and October 14, 2016, directing INEC to drop Jegede and substitute him with Ibrahim as the authentic governorship candidate of the party in Ondo State in the election slated to hold on Saturday.

Incensed by the motions filed by the applicants, the Supreme Court after dismissing them, awarded cumulative cost of over N10m against Poroye’s group and their lawyer, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), for filing the applications adjudged to have constituted an abuse of court process.

The Justice Saulawa panel had earlier on November 18, 2016, suspended the plan to deliver its reserved judgments on the pre-election dispute in order to await the decision of the Supreme Court on the motions for stay of proceedings filed before the apex court by Poroye and others.

But ruling on Tuesday, the Justice Walter Onnoghen panel of the apex court dismissed the 10 consolidated motions for stay of proceedings filed by the Poroye group, paving the way for the appeal court to go ahead to deliver its reserved judgment.

The Supreme Court dismissed the applications for stay of proceedings after the lawyer to the applicants, Nwofor, on his own withdrew the motions without any objection from opposing lawyers.

The Justice Onnoghen panel also dismissed the motion in which the applicants had asked the apex court to disqualify the Justice Saulawa panel from going ahead to hear the appeals filed by Jegede and Makarfi while the motions seeking a stay of proceedings were pending before the apex court.

The applicants had, as part of their prayers, urged the apex court to invoke its “disciplinary jurisdiction” against the three Justices of the appeal court and order the disbandment of the panel.

They had also asked the Supreme Court to set aside the proceedings conducted by the appeal court while the motions for stay of proceedings were pending before the apex court.

But the Supreme Court, in its ruling, dismissed the motions for lacking in merit.

‘‘The court below (Court of Appeal) is, hereby, ordered to continue with its proceedings forthwith,’’ Justice Onnoghen said.

The apex court ruled that since the motions for stay of proceedings had earlier been struck out, three of the prayers predicated on them had become academic “and liable to being discountenanced”.

The apex court ruled that the joining of the Justices of the Court of Appeal who were not parties to the dispute before the appeal court, as respondents to the motion, was an attempt to intimidate the Justices of the Appeal court.

Justice Onnoghen said in his lead ruling, “Whatever they (the Justices of the Court of Appeal) did before the lower court was in their official capacities.

“The joining of the Justices of the Court of Appeal was designed to intimidate them. Put mildly, it is a conduct that must be discouraged.

“Judicial officers enjoy immunity in the performance of their duties and are not liable to be subjected to this kind of intimidation.”

Justice Onnoghen also noted that there was an earlier panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Jumai Sankey, which withdrew from further presiding over the dispute relating to the PDP ticket, on account of the petition written against the panel members.

Justice Onnoghen ruled, “If the applicants are allowed to continue with these pranks, there will be no end in sight and it will not augur well for our democracy. I find no merit in the motion and it is hereby dismissed.”

The Supreme Court awarded N1m each (in three separate cases) in favour of each of the Justices of the Court of Appeal joined as parties in the appeal.This amounts to N9m.

Justice Onnoghen directed that the cost awarded in favour of the Justices of the Court of Appeal is to be personally paid by the applicants’ counsel, Nwofor.

The apex court also awarded N500,000 in favour of each set of respondents who were represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and Robert Emukpero.

The cost is to be paid by the applicants.

Earlier, in its ruling dismissing the motion for stay of proceedings, the Supreme Court awarded N250,000 against the applicants in each of the 10 motions for stay of proceedings withdrawn by the applicants.

The applicants were directed to pay a cumulative N2.5m to the respondents.

The court fixed Thursday for hearing of the substantive appeals challenging the leave granted Eyitayo Jegede and others to file an appeal before the appeal court to challenge his substitution with Jimoh Ibrahim as the authentic governorship candidate of the party in the forthcoming election in Ondo State.

Mimiko, Jegede Suffer Blow As Appeal Court Keeps Jimoh Ibrahim In Ondo Race

The governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and his favoured candidate in the Ondo governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, suffered a setback yesterday before the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

A special three-man panel of the court, constituted to hear the appeals on the dispute over the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ondo State and the party’s leadership, declined to deliver the judgments it had scheduled for yesterday.

As the legal battle rages, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim remains the governorship candidate of the party recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The panel’s head, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, said judgments in the appeals by Jegede (marked: CA/A/551C/2016) and that by Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi (CA/A/551/2016) and other businesses of the panel in relation to all the cases will be suspended pending the decision of the Supreme Court on a motion of stay of proceedings pending before it.
Justice Saulawa cited a fresh motion filed on November 17 before the Supreme Court by respondents in the appeals, led by the factional Chairman of the PDP in Ondo, Biyi Poroye, and said it was prudent for his panel to await the decision of the Supreme Court.

He noted that the panel has been subjected to undue stress in view of the contentious and political nature of the cases.

Justice Saulawa said although his panel was of the view that proceedings in the cases could continue, “having come this far,” it was now reasonable to apply the breaks, particularly when members of the panel have now been made parties to the fresh motion before the Supreme Court.

“We hereby rule that this instant appeal and other appeals slated for today for judgments and ruling stand adjourned sine die to await the outcome of the Supreme Court,” Justice Saulawa said.

Jegede, Makarfi and Obi had in October applied to the Appeal Court for leave to appeal the judgment of June 29, 2016 and the ruling of October 14 by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

In the June 29 judgment, Justice Abang affirmed the Ali Modu Sheriff factional leadership of the PDP as the party’s authentic leaders and in the October ruling ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to substitute Jegede’s name for Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate for the Ondo governorship election scheduled for November 26.

The Justice Saulawa-led appeal panel on November 10, 2016 granted Jegede, Makarfi and Obi leave to appeal, deemed the appeal they filed as properly filed and abridged the time within which parties are to file their briefs.
The respondents, led by Poroye, appealed to the Supreme Court the panel’s ruling of November 10, granting leave to Jegede, Makarfi and Obi. In addition, they filed a motion before the Supreme Court for stay of further proceedings before the appeal panel.

On November 16 and 17, despite the complaint by respondents’ lawyers, led by Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), to the effect that their clients’ appeal had been entered at the Supreme Court and record of proceedings compiled and transmitted, the Saulawa panel proceeded to hear the appeals by Jegede, Makarfi and Obi and reserved judgments.
Dissatisfied with the decision by the Saulawa panel not to stay proceedings, the respondents filed the fresh motion before the Supreme Court on November 17.

The respondents are, in the fresh motion, seeking three prayers, to include an order setting aside the proceedings of the Saulawa panel held on November 16; an order stopping the panel from further conducting proceedings, including delivering the reserved judgments.

They argued, in the motion, which has members of the Saulawa panel listed as 5th, 6th and 7th respondents, that the panel’s failure to stay proceedings in deference to the Supreme Court amounted to judicial impudence on the part of the panel’s members.

The respondents added, in their motion, that the Saulawa panel’s refusal to stay proceedings in the face of their appeal which has been entered at the Supreme Court and records compiled, and the additional fact of the pendency of their application for stay of proceedings, amounted to a flagrant disregard of judicial tradition of respect for the apex court.

They added that by refusing to stay proceedings, members of the panel – Justices Saulawa, Ignatius Agube and Goerge Mbaba – “have betrayed their oath of office in their deliberate refusal to be bound by the principles of judicial precedent and stare decisis and refused to be bound by their own rulings delivered on November, 8,2016 in appeal marked: CA/A/402/2016: Peoples Democratic Party v. Chief Benson Akingboye and ors, and CA/A/402A/2016 by Sen Ahmed Makarfi vs Chief Benson Akingboye and ors.”

They argued that the panel’s continued conduct of proceedings, despite being aware of an appeal pending at the Supreme Court, the pendency of a motion for stay of proceedings and the fact that the appeal had been entered, amounted to “ flagrant and blatant breach of the doctrine of lis pendens, stare decisis and violation of required respect of the Supreme Court.”

It was these motions, marked: SC/ 947/2016 and SC/952/2016, that Justice Saulawa referred to while announcing his panel’s decision to withhold its decision and further actions in all the appeals.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has fixed next Tuesday for the hearing of the motion for stay of proceedings filed by the nine respondents led by Poroye.

Lawyer to Jegede, Makarfi and Obi, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) disclosed this while addressing journalists after court’s proceedings yesterday.

He spoke in reaction to a question on whether or not it is possible for the appeal panel to render its judgment before the election in Ondo State.

Akinlaja said the Supreme Court has sent notices to parties in relation to the motion for stay of proceedings. He added that if the apex court decides that the panel needed not to stay its proceedings, it will then proceed to deliver its judgments.

The motion, which the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday, is that seeking the stay of further proceedings by the appeal ýpanel pending the determination by the Supreme Court of an appeal by the Poroye group against the panel’s ruling granting leave to Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi to appeal the June 29 judgment and October 14 ruling by Justice Abang.

Ondo Polls: Mimiko Has No Pact With Other Parties – PDP

The Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State has dismissed a report that Governor Olusegun Mimiko asked PDP supporters to support other parties ahead of the November 26 governorship poll in the state.

The Ondo PDP said it had no alternative plan but to contest the November 26 governorship election, fielding Mr. Eyitayo Jegede as the party’s candidate.

Speaking in an interview, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Banji Okunomo, stressed that Mimiko had no plan to support any candidate other than Jegede.

He said, “We are contesting this election with Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP candidate. We have no doubt about it because we know we are going to get justice at the appeal court. We are not talking with any opposition party.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the Labour Party in the state, Mr. Wale Gbakinro, has denied that Mimiko had any talks with the leaders of the party.

Also, the Alliance for Democracy’s candidate, Chief Olusola Oke said Mimiko did not hold any talks with him.
Meanwhile , the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, will on Monday and Tuesday inaugurate two additional mega schools in the state.

According to a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko will inaugurate a mega school in Oke –Agbe, Akoko-North senatorial district tomorrow (Monday).

Jegede Gets Appeal Court’s Nod To Challenge Ibrahim

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday gave leave to the replaced Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate for the November 26 election in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, to appeal against the Federal High Court’s order recognising Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s authentic candidate.

The three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, also granted similar application filed by Ahmed Makarfi and secretary of his faction, Ben Obi, to challenge Ibrahim’s candidacy.

Acting on the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on June 29 and October 14, 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission had dropped Jegede and replaced him with Ibrahim who belongs to another faction of the PDP led by Ali Modu Sheriff as the PDP’s governorship candidate in Ondo State.

Not being parties to the suit in which the Federal High Court made the orders in favour of Ibrahim, Jegede and Makarfi, as well as Obi, needed to seek the court’s leave to be allowed to appeal.

The suit was filed before the Federal High Court by chairmen and secretaries of the Sheriff’s faction of the PDP in the states in the South-West zone of the country.

The plaintiffs, led by the Ondo State chairman of the faction of the party, Biyi Poroye, are the first to ninth respondents in the case filed by Jegede.

Ruling on Jegede’s application on Thursday, the three justices on the court’s panel, comprising Justices Saulawa, Ignatius Agube and Ita Mbaba, unanimously agreed that the applicant had established sufficient interest in the case to be allowed to appeal.

The court also held that Jegede was genuinely aggrieved, having said to have participated in the primary of the party, emerged as the winner with a wide margin, and subsequently accepted by INEC as the candidate of the party, only to be later dropped on the basis of a court order.

It also ruled that having not been made a party to the suit in which the orders were made against him, Jegede was entitled to appeal against it.

Ondo Election Won’t Hold Until INEC Recognises Jegede As PDP Candidate – Mimiko

The Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has stated that the November 26 governorship election cannot hold if the issue of the candidacy of the Peoples Democratic Party remained unresolved.

He, however, expressed hope that the impasse over the PDP flag bearer in the governorship election would soon be resolved by the appellate court in no distant time.

The governor expressed the assurance that the candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the party, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), would contest the election.

The governor made this remark on Sunday at the PDP stakeholders’ meeting held in Akure, the state capital.

According to him, the PDP as a party in Nigeria and Ondo State in particular, was a major stakeholder in election matter and no one can prevent the party from participating in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

He said, “I don’t know how they will do it, it is impossible for them to deny us our right. Justice will stand and Jegede will contest this election. Election can’t take place in Ondo State without the PDP.”

The governor further noted that the substitution of Jegede’s name at the Independent National Electoral Commission was a conspiracy because the decision of INEC could not find comfort “in justice, in principle, in law and in morality.”

The governor lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his action towards good and credible elections in the country by ensuring that justice would be done regarding the Ondo election.

He, however, debunked insinuations that he went to see Buhari ‎as a prelude to crossing over to the All Progressives Congress.

He explained, “I had to see the President in my capacity as the Chief Security Officer in Ondo State, briefing the Chief Security Officer of the country on the need to allow justice to prevail, and Mr. President gave his commitment to ensure that justice will be done and I have no reason to doubt him.

“Justice will stand and Jegede will contest the election. Election can’t take place without the PDP.

“We know those that are behind this. It is beyond the President. Their thinking is that without Jegede, they will win, but their plan will fail.”

Ondo Polls: PDP Will Resist Imposition Of Candidate Under Any Guise – Makarfi

The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has said that the opposition will resist any plan to impose any candidate on the PDP in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.
He averred that the crisis orchestrated in PDP is a calculated attempt to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) an edge over the PDP at the polls.
Makarfi spoke in Kaduna on Saturday, said that the unfolding scenario as a result of the crisis that emerge from the dispute over the INEC’s approval of the candidature of Chief Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP Candidate for Ondo governorship election was a clear indication that Senator Ali Modu Sherriff has abandoned the reconciliation move in the party in order to bring the warring factions together.
He accused Sherriff of playing to an alleged grand design by the ruling party, APC to win the forthcoming Governorship in Ondo State,
saying that his caretaker committee will continue to deploy legal and political means to ensure the victory of the rightful PDP candidate in the State.
Makarfi who spoke on how Senator Sheriff has frustrated the peace and reconciliation moves in the PDP said that the opposition party will reorganized itself as a formidable force to be reckoned with in the country within the next six months in order to salvage the nation from the hands of APC.
Expressing dismay on the action of INEC in the preparation for the forthcoming governorship polls in Ondo State, he said: “I don’t know what pressurized INEC to come out with the decision it took”, pointing out that “what I read is that they acted on the orders of a court of law and not on the basis of what they believe is right as umpire and as a body authorized to know the true status of political parties, the true status of the primaries conducted for the nomination of candidates”.
“I want you to recall that we gave INEC relevant notices as stipulated by law, they observed our primaries and they took our nomination. It was reported that the other side did primaries at midnight in Ibadan.
I“t was not covered by INEC or any authority for that matter. So, if a court of law gives INEC some orders that INEC, for whatever reason felt compelled at that time to comply with. It is unfortunate, that no even such court of law in the first instance should give such an order”.
“They are ignoring all the other laws relating to regulations and how candidates should emerge. Be that as it may, it has been our principles not to personalize issues. Because our judicial system provides for appeal process and we have appealed. And we have absolute confidence that the appellate court should be able before the election date, determines the legitimate candidate of the PDP”.
“And we are still confident that Jegede (SAN) and one properly nominated by our party men and women from Ondo State will be the name to stand for the election as a candidate under the PDP flag for Ondo”.
Senator Makarfi also dwelt on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed for peace and reconciliation in the PDP by the factions in dispute has been violated by the Sheriff group.

Said he: “Before we signed that MOU and before the leader that convened us, the understanding we reached before him (and people can
ask him, he will attest to that) was that the other side will join the caretaker committee. And that was the basic agreement that was reached. And then, we agreed that we should set up an equal number of party men and women that would sit down look at the modality of integrating the two sides into the caretaker committee and also draw the modality for the withdrawal of all court cases or consensual
settlement of the cases that withdrawal is not the best option but to have a clear legal determination of the matter”.
“But, let it be something that we all consent to so as to prevent future litigation. Because some gaps, if you leave them now in the name of peace, somebody else, may not be Modu Sherrif or anybody associated with Modu Sherrif, it can be anybody else, anytime can still go to court asking the same issues to be determined. Now, let us use this and work together to mutually determine all those contentious issues that we commonly agreed to so that we prevent such issues coming up in the future. That is the general understanding”.
He continued: “The committee was to be for twelve from both sides, later it was Ali Modu Sheriff himself thought that we should expand it to 14, 14 because, his thought that some members of the caretaker committee out to have been members of the committee because they know where we are and they can add to the committee in making input. See, from his own committee members, he will also bring two to also join the other people. We said that it was a good idea”.
“Later, I was the one that sent a message that we needed to expand to15, 15. Because, instead of two governors we wanted to include three governors in order to carry everybody along. So, that was how we hit the figure 15, 15. And the issue now became who to chair that committee and the term of reference. On who to chair the committee
there were names that were mentioned”.
“In my opinion, I thought of the person who was able to convene us without dispute should be able to chair the committee. In suggesting any other name you don’t know how it would be received by other people. Of course, I know, Modu Sherrif suggested the former President Goodluck Jonathan. And I said he had wanted to do similar thing before and he was advised against it.”
“And that we shouldn’t be dragged into it, more so, we don’t know how it will end up. If it ends up well fine and good. Supposing it don’t ends up well, you would have succeeded in bringing down his stature as the PDP past immediate President. To say that he is involved in something wish failed later, it wasn’t wise to get him involved in such issues. We actually felt that it will be better that he play an advisory role and not a central role. And so, we didn’t really decide on who to take the position, it was opened for discussion. But, the key issue where we had problem was the issue of term of reference”.