The choice of direct primaries Edo Governorship elections by the All Progressive Congress party’s National Working Committee (NWC), led by its Chairman, Mr Adams Aliyu Oshimohole has continue to create fears in the heart of the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki.
Naija News Understands that party’s National Working Committee (NWC), led insisted on direct primaries governorship elections as the way to go, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his supporters are voting for indirect primaries or delegate system.
However speaking on the disparities, APC National Publicity Secretary Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who spoke on preparations for the Edo election in Abuja, said there would be no need for any emergency NEC meeting before the poll.
He said: “Why should there be an emergency meeting? What is the emergency? COVID-19? We, NWC, are involved in the day to day running of the party and this is part of the routine we carry out. This is not the first time and whoever said that also is expressing the view, which is also allowed in a democracy.”
Issa-Onilu, spoke shortly after the party displayed the aspirants’ credentials, was silent on whether the screening committee, which will be set up today, will disqualify any aspirant based on alleged forgery and perjury.
As the battle for the primary rages, the Federal High Court (FHC) in Benin, presided over by Justice Mohammed Umar, fixed June 11 for hearing of the exparte motion by Obaseki’s allies seeking to restrain the NWC from adopting the direct mode for the primary.
The suit, with reference number: FHC/B/CS/48/2020, was filed by the factional Edo Deputy Chairman of APC, Kenneth Asekomhe, and a governorship aspirant Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, citing COVID-19 pandemic and the 2018 NEC resolution as the grounds for their action.
The plaintiffs also prayed the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from monitoring the primary and the police from giving effect to the NWC’s guidelines.
Their counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN) and John Odubela (SAN), maintained that the APC Constitution provided that states should suggest the mode of primary to the NWC, stressing that the leadership of the party in Edo had suggested indirect mode, in which 4,000 delegates would participate at the stadium in Benin.
The defendants in the suit are APC; its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state; INEC; and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).