National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the postponement of the November 26, Ondo State governorship election.
In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the committee stated that rescheduling the election would enable the Supreme Court to give a ruling on the controversy concerning who is the authentic candidate of the PDP in the election.
The opposition party noted that the postponement of the poll was imperative, especially as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is also a party to the case before the apex court.
PDP factions loyal to the National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi and former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, had nominated Messrs Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibra- him respectively as their candidates for the Ondo gubernatorial contest.
However, based on the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Okon Abang, INEC listed Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the election.
Last Friday, a Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, which was set up to determine the appeals of Makarfi and Jegede against the order of Federal High Court, Abuja, which recognised Ibrahim as standard bearer of the PDP in the Ondo governorship election, adjourned all proceedings sine die pending the determination of a motion filed before the Supreme Court by the respondents on the dispute.
The committee while urging the Justices of the Supreme Court to remember that “justice delayed is justice denied”, called on INEC to postpone the election pending the determination of the suit before the Supreme Court.
“We make this call against the backdrop of the fact that INEC is a party to the suit before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and is well aware of the steps taken by certain parties to the suit to frustrate the course of justice,” the committee said.
It added: “We also make this call against the backdrop of the fact that INEC postponed the Edo State gubernatorial election and recently postponed the Rivers re-run elections without any cogent or visible reason.”
The party claimed that the “unsubstantiated” allegations of corruption made against the justices of the Court of Appeal by the Sheriff faction was a ploy to stall proceeding at the appellate court and ultimately exclude Jegede from the governorship contest.
“We are aware that this is only a part of a much bigger plan to use all available resources of state to prevent the legitimate candidate of the party from running for and winning the Ondo State gubernatorial election. We are aware that this is part of the plan to use the judicial process, security agencies and INEC to rig the election in favour of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), before the election day,” it noted.