Supreme Court judgment: Victory For EDO APC, Not for Obaseki Nor Orbih – Efe Igbinosa

WAIT, before you haul your stones at me, listen carefully to my analysis. You may have a rethink when I am done with it. This may take some time, but follow carefully. Contrary to what the two factions of PDP in Edo would want you to believe, there was no definitive ruling in favour of any of the factions. Rather, the case was dismissed because the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter. it is simply an internal party affairs and the issue was placed squarely on the table of the party at the national level. This was the ruling gov. Obaseki’s faction wanted and the reason they are the loudest in their celebration, because they believe the National Working Committee will work in their favour. But this is where it actually gets interesting because INEC, had earlier published the list of Dan Orbih’s faction relying on a Federal High Court Order siting in Abuja.

If NWC decides to forward the names of gov. Obaseki’s faction to INEC following the dismissal of the case INEC had earlier relied upon to publish the names of Dan Orbih’s faction, INEC is most likely going to ignore the list from the NWC because according to sources in INEC, they did not monitor the primary election conducted by the NWC, which Obaseki’s faction is relying heavily upon. In a statement dated 5th April and signed by Mr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), the Commission affirmed that all the political parties’ candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be conducted, must emerge from democratic, transparent, and valid primaries, in line with Sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act 2022. The statement partly reads: “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue. Now, let us state the relevant sections of the law that may hinder INEC from accepting the list of Obaseki’s faction. “As required by law, the Commission shall monitor the primaries of each political party that provides the required legal notice in line with Sections 82 (1) and (5) of the Electoral Act. Failure of a political party to notify the Commission of any convention or congress convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act shall render the convention or congress invalid”. Because of the sections of the Electoral act quoted above, Obaseki’s faction might be rejected by INEC because their election was never monitored by INEC and if for any reason, INEC decided to accept the list, it would be challenged in court and both INEC and Obaseki’s faction would lose the case because they have violated an important aspect of the Electoral act and you cannot place something on nothing.

No Victory for Dan Orbih

Now, let us also look into why it is not a victory for Dan Orbih’s faction either. Although, as it stands, they have the upper hand but they are standing on a sinking sand according to the Electoral act. There are also strong sources that have said openly including from the NWC that they didn’t conduct any primary for that faction even though their primary was monitored by INEC. The big question before us is; who conducted their primary? Chapter 8, section (1) of the PDP constitution was clear on whose responsibility it is to conduct party primaries. ” the national executive committee shall, subject to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Electoral act (as amended) and this constitution, formulate guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels AND SHALL BE THE FINAL AUTHORITY FOR RESOLVING ALL DISPUTES RELATING TO THE CHOICE OF CANDIDATES FOR THE PARTY FOR ANY ELECTION AND FOR CONVEYING TO INEC OR TO ANY OTHER AUTHORITY TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN , confirming the names or list of names of candidates of the party in any elective public office in the federation” The provision went ahead to say the party shall determine where the primaries shall be held for each offices. I believe this provision will weigh heavily on the Orbih’s faction as they ponder their chances, because they violated this provisions according to members of the NWC . This issue is already also before the court for determination, which the Obaseki’s faction had won at the High Court and will most likely win it all the way to the Supreme court but this wouldn’t save the Obaseki’s faction, because they also ran foul of the Electoral act as quoted above. So, the two factions will not have a single candidate from the senatorial level down to the HOA level.

So, who does this benefits?

It benefits Edo APC. The both factions of Edo PDP according to Electoral act and party constitution have both erred; therefore, cannot reap from their chaos, recklessness and disdain towards the law governing the conduct of party primary. If this happens, APC will have a clean sweep at the polls with 24 members of the house of Assembly, 3 Senators and 9 House of Rep members. Like I stated in my last article, unless the two factions somehow find a way to come together and work together to ensure all their efforts to take power from Oshiomhole and his EPM faction does not go to waste, governor Obaseki wouldn’t complete his tenure before he is impeached by the legislature, because to put it mildly, APC is not a friendly party. They are not only angry, they are bitter and vicious. They will not spare gov. Obaseki and PDP.

A word, is enough for the wise!!!