MHA primary: Ondo Minority leader Elegbeleye drags PDP to court

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the recent House of Assembly primary, the Minority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly and member representing Akoko Northeast constituency, Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye has dragged the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to Federal High Court sitting in Akure.

The lawmaker through his lawyer, Mr. Jimoh Salau alleged that the party used doctored delegates to conduct the primary election in his constituency, Akoko Northeast Local Government area of the state. He also alleged that the national delegate that voted during presidential primary was not elected by the party members from the constituency.

The suit filed yesterday before the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital has as defendants the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Chairman of PDP in the state, Hon Fatai Adams, the declared winner of the primary, Mr Olanrewaju Akintola and the National secretariat of the PDP.

Elegbeleye asked the court to declare null and void the result of the primary election in his constituency and asked for a fresh one because of the alleged use of doctored delegates for the state and national convention of the party.

Also, the lawmaker asked the court for an order nullifying the primary election because the venue of used for the election was not in consonant with the Constitution of the PDP and an order barring the INEC from accepting the result of the election held outside the jurisdiction recognized by the party’s constitution.

The major grouse of the lawmaker was the alleged intimidation of voters loyal to him, who he said were prevented from getting to the venue of the election. According to him, prior to the scheduled primary election, he complained about the venue of the primary election to the PDP Chairman about the venue, which he said was in the neighbourhood of his co-contestant.

Elegbeleye said as a result of the venue of the primary, which was close to the neighborhood of his co-contestant, the delegates who were loyal to him were intimidated with violence and could not vote under the freewill atmosphere.

In his writ, the lawmaker said the Chairman of the party had threatened to use his position to prevent him from getting the second term ticket of the party to the House of Assembly

The writ said “The Plaintiff avers that the second defendant expressed ilI-feeling towards him because he complained that he did not receive the support of the Plaintiff in year 2019 when he contested the House of Representative at Akoko North-East and West Federal Constituency at the primary election.

“The Plaintiff states further that the purported national delegate Bode Obanla from Akoko North-East Local Government was not duly elected. The Akoko North-East only elected Arch. Tunde Obaude in the presence of the officials of the fourth Defendant at the prescribed/designated venue in line with the third Defendant’s constitution.

“The Plaintiff averred that the names of the delegates from Edo ward the Plaintiff’s ward was not duly submitted to the third defendant but kept in Akure by the second defendant. In consequence, the names of the delegates from Edo ward were omitted but after much persuasion, the returning officers for the election sought the approval of the second defendant and they were allowed to vote on the terms that they should vote the first Defendant.”