Several hours after the sacking of businessman Jimoh Ibrahim as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission is yet to effect any change on the list of candidates.
The Appeal Court in Abuja declared that the High Court ruling which declared Ali Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the PDP was a nullity.
It described the high court ruling as a complete fraud and also set it aside.
Justice Okon Abang’s June 29 judgement led to the recognition of Mr. Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
But Wednesday’s Court of Appeal’s judgement not only makes Eyitayo Jegede the authentic candidate of the PDP for Saturday’s election, it also authenticates Ahmed Makarfi’s leadership of the PDP, Nigeria’s largest opposition party.
However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ondo State, Olusegun Agbaje, said a replacement will only be done after directive is received from INEC national headquarters.
“We are awaiting directives from our national headquarters,” Mr. Agbaje said.
“I am sure any moment from now, the Chairman will issue a statement on the judgment.”
Mr. Agbaje had earlier said the commission would obey court judgments on the election
“If the courts rule again that he (Jimoh Ibrahim) should be removed, we will have no choice but to obey the most recent judgment from the court,” the INEC Commissioner said.
He said allegations that INEC was partial in the matter was unfair, adding that INEC had no special candidate for the election and was only adhering to the dictates of the law.
Another official of INEC at the headquarters, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzie, had told PREMIUM TIMES the commission would comply with Wednesday’s Appeal Court ruling.
“As we have always said, we will comply with the ruling or judgment of a superior court,” Mr. Osaze-Uzzie, INEC Director of Voters’ Education and Publicity, said.