Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Despite last Monday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the ousted National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said he would still submit the name of Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governorship candidate for the September 10 election in Edo State.
Sheriff who spoke yesterday in Abuja when he presented certificate of return to Iduoriyekwemwen in Abuja said instead, he would be relying on last week’s judgment by Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court in Abuja to send the factional candidate’s name to INEC.
Before last Monday’s judgment delivered by a court in Port Harcourt, another court in Abuja presided over by Justice Abang, had affirmed that Sheriff is the PDP national chairman and the one authorized to submit name of the candidate to INEC, not the caretaker committee.
Speaking shortly after presenting the certificate of return to the candidate, Sheriff said he had to shelve his travel for Sallah in order to conclude the processes required by INEC.
“It is clear that from Abuja High Court that INEC is obliged to accept the candidate we are to present. You know ideally, most of our officials have travelled for Sallah. We need to do this because, the first working day we are going to submit our candidate’s form to INEC.
“I have to stay behind to do some of the things so as to ensure that the forms are submitted after the Sallah break,” Sheriff stated.
The Secretary of the committee that conducted Sheriff’s factional Edo State primary, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, said a total of 677 delegates were accredited for the primary while 502 delegates voted.
According to him, out of this number, Iduoriyekwemwen got 481 votes, his challenger has stepped down for him.
In his remarks, Iduoriyekwemwen who has chosen former PDP Edo woman leader, Mrs. Herberta Okonofua-Ayo as his running mate, denied that he was being sponsored by All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Edo State Government.
He said the crisis would not affect the chances of the PDP in the election, adding that the party will emerge stronger.