Some aggrieved aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, yesterday disagreed with their national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, over the conduct of the primary elections of the party in the state.
Insisting that there were no primaries conduct to elect candidates for the forthcoming elections, the aspirants argued before the Federal High Court in Akure, that Oshiomhole was far from representing the facts.
The aspirants, numbering about 100 and included members of the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly, had dragged Oshiomole, the APC, National Legal Adviser, Mr Babatunde Ogala, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over the outcome of the party’s primaries in the State.
A former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Kenneth Olawale, who spoke for others, told the court that there was no primaries in the State through which the candidates of the party could have emerged for the next year’s general election.
The aspirants Counsel, Mr Wale Omotoso, asked the court to declare that the ruling APC did not have candidate for the National and State Assembly elections in the state.
Omotosho sought for interlocutory order in restraining the INEC from receiving any list sent to it by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over the allegation of not conducting primaries through which the candidates emerged
The aggrieved aspirants had earlier in their writ had asked for a “order that the subversion of the Electoral Guidelines of the APC as stipulated in its constitution by the party machinery in Ondo State in respect of the House of Representatives and House of Representatives primaries purportedly conducted on the 5th of October, 2018 in their failure to give the claimants opportunity of being voted for by the members of the party as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended is illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, null and void.”
They had alleged that preferred candidates were handpicked without conducting any primary election in any of the ward and constituency in Ondo State adding that neither officials of INEC nor members of the National Electoral Committee of the party were present.
However, Counsel to APC and its Chairman, Yinka Orokoto, prayed the court to dismiss the application of the aspirants in its entirety, noting that the prayers the aspirants were praying the court for, had been overtaken by event as the list had been submitted to INEC.
Orokoto said all the averments of the applicants were hearsay as there was no how the court would prevent an entire party from submitting list of candidates for election. The Presiding Judge, Justice F A Olubanjo however fixed November 15 for the ruling.