Allegation of mega fraud is trailing the primary elections conducted by the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Hon. Sikirullahi Ogundele.
Sources close to the party revealed that the whole process was mismanaged and that several stakeholders and members of the party are not happy with the development and have taken the matter up legally, where they hope to get justice.
There allegations of numerous fraud in primary elections of the nation’s main opposition party in the state.
Some delegates of the party in the state have since dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court in Abeokuta over alleged disenfranchisement in the just concluded primaries of the party in the state.
The PDP, its governorship candidate, Oladipupo Adebutu and three governorship aspirants, Segun Showunmi, Jimi Lawal and one Abodunrin were listed as respondents in the suit which said about 400 of the ‘certified delegates’ were barred from casting their votes at the election held on June 30.
The plaintiffs, Taiwo Idris, Kehinde Akala and Ayinde Monsuru among others in a suit with number FHC/AB/CS/87/22 sued for themselves and on behalf of over 400 delegates who emerged from the April 30 ward congress most of who have reportedly deposed to affidavits before the court except the delegates from Ikenne, Sagamu and Remo North Local Government Areas.
They prayed the court to nullify the governorship primary in the state.
The aggrieved delegates said most of the people that were disenfranchised were supporters of Jimi Lawal and would have cast their votes for the aspirant.
The PDP delegates alleged that the party chose those who were not elected delegates to vote at the election, adding that it was a strategy to install the preferred candidate of some party leaders.
They further alleged that 400 out of the 728 elected ad hoc delegates from all the wards as well as those elected from 20 local government areas as national delegates were not allowed to participate in the election.
The suit sought to get an order for PDP “to conduct fresh Special State Congress where indirect primary election to choose the 2023 governorship election will be held.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further recognising or parading any person or group of persons not elected at the ward congresses held in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 2022 as ad hoc delegates to vote at the indirect primaries for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the 1st Defendant intends to nominate/sponsor at the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State.”
The court however granted an order for substituted service on all the parties and has fixed the return date for the 22nd of June, 2022.
An example of the fraud that characterised the primary elections in the state was the primary elections conducted for the state house of assembly seats, where there were several allegations of compromise by the leaders of the party in the state.
One of this is said to be the emergence of one Abdulfatai Adewunmi (Asiwaju) as the party’s candidate for Ifo Constituency 2 for the Ogun State House of Assembly.
Adewunmi, an alleged land grabber (omo onile) was said to have been disqualified by the national arm of the party, but his name was reportedly listed as one of the aspirants during the primary.
“We were surprised to see the name of Adewunmi written with pen, while others on the list were typed and sent from Abuja.
“This is a man that did no meet the criteria listed by the party and he was rejected by the national arm of the party. His name was not listed, but we just saw it written with biro and he was declared as winner of the primary,” a source said.
The source stated that the choice of members of the PDP for Ifo Constituency 2 for Ogun State House of Assembly is Hon. Banjo Akintoye James.
Akintoye, a holder of Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Ekiti State University was said to have been screened and cleared for the primary election only for his delegates to be disqualified from voting during the exercise.
Sources in the Ogun State PDP said that the national chapter of the party is not happy with the issues and that efforts were currently being made to sort things out so that the party could be victorious in the 2023 general elections in the state.