Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
One of the aspirants in the just-concluded governorship primary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) In Bayelsa State, Chief Timi Alaibe has approached the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, urging it to cancel the result of the election because of alleged procedural flaws.
The aspirant, who had earlier petitioned the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), filed the suit pursuant to Order 3(9) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.
In his statement of claim, Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is seeking answers to questions bordering on non-adherence to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010, the PDP Constitution and Election Guidelines.
Alaibe alleged that the ward congress held by the party was flawed due to irregularities.
He, also, asked the court “to examine the entire processes that resulted in the primaries and rule in his favour in the light of alleged violations committed in a move to impose a pre-determined, hand-picked candidate on the people out of 21 aspirants.”
He had earlier raised objections against what he described as crass disrespect for legal procedures and party guidelines in the build-up to the conduct of the governorship primary election.
He said the objection covered open disobedience “to the party constitution and electoral guidelines and the manner in which ward congresses were conducted; among others.”
Specifically, the Alaibe Campaign Organisation had protested the inclusion of the newly elected council chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors in the delegates’ list, which it said was contrary to the provisions of the PDP Constitution.
Alaibe also kicked against the manner in which electoral and returning officers were picked to ‘favour aspirants endorsed by the already biased leadership of the party in the state’.
He added that the manner in which the 315 ad-hoc delegates were directed to vote contrary to already established judicial precedents was a breach of the existing rules.
The suit, with reference number FHC/YNG/CS/99/2019, has as defendants the PDP, Senator Douye Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Embeleakpo Alale for himself and representing the elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors of the PDP allowed to be delegates at the elective state congress of the PDP in Bayelsa State held on September 3.
Also joined in the suit as defendant is Doubra Kumokou, for himself and on behalf of the Three Ad-Hoc Delegates allowed to be delegates at the elective state congress.
In his prayers, Alaibe asked the court “to determine whether the pre-election actions and inactions of the defendants satisfied conditions specified in relevant sections of Nigeria’s Constitution, the Electoral Act and certain sections of the PDP Constitution.”
He asked that the entire processes be declared unconstitutional and the declaration of Diri as the winner be declared invalid having failed to comply with relevant sections of the laws governing such processes.
He asked the court for an order setting aside the submission of Diri’s name to INEC by the PDP as its candidate in the governorship election coming up on November 16 in view of what he described as the several legal and procedural infractions cited.
Alaibe, also, prayed the court to order the conduct of fresh primary elections for the nomination and sponsorship of the candidate for the governorship election in Bayelsa State.