Why I’m taking PDP to court – Alaibe

The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, said he opted to approach the court over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries to correct procedural flaws he observed during the exercise.

Chief Alaibe one of the 21 aspirants that contested for the party’s ticket ahead of the November 16 governorship election, urged the court to cancel the result of the election won by Senator Douye Diri.

In a statement signed by the Administrative Secretary of Alaibe Campaign Organisation, Prof Seiyefa Brisibe, Alaibe wants the party to answers to questions bordering on alleged obvious non-adherence to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010, and its constitution and Election Guidelines.

His campaign organisation said the former managing Director of the NNDC approached the Federal High Court in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state, with an application for cancellation of the result pursuant to Order 3(9) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019

He faulted the conduct of the ward, local and state congresses for emergence of delegates, adding that the list of delegates and procedure for inclusion of three ad-hoc delegates, were manipulated.

Citing specific sections of relevant laws and guidelines, Alaibe wants the court to evaluate the processes that led to the primaries.

It wants the court to cancel the exercise for violations committed in a desperate move to impose a pre-determined hand-picked candidate on the people out of 21 aspirants.

“It would be recalled that the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation had raised objections against what it described as crass disrespect for legal procedures and party guidelines in the build-up to the conduct of the governorship primary election by the state chapter of the PDP.

“The objection covered open disobedience to the party constitution and electoral guidelines and the manner in which Ward Congresses were conducted, among others.

“Specifically, the Campaign Organisation had protested the inclusion of the newly elected council chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors in the delegates list contrary to the provisions of the PDP Constitution; the manner in which electoral and returning officers were picked to favour aspirants endorsed by the already biased leadership of the party in the state, the manner in which the 315 ad-hoc delegates were directed to vote contrary to already established judicial precedents, among other issues.”

The suit, with reference number FHC/YNG/CS/99/2019, has as defendants: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Embeleakpo Alale for himself and representing the elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors of the PDP allowed to be delegates at the elective State Congress of the PDP in Bayelsa State held on September 3, 2019.

Also listed as defendant is Doubra Kumoko and the three ad-hoc delegates allowed as delegates at the elective state congress.

The former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs wants the court to determine whether the pre-election actions and inactions of the defendants satisfied conditions specified in relevant sections of Nigeria’s Constitution, the Electoral Acts and certain sections of the PDP Constitution.

It is Alaibe’s prayers that the entire processes be declared unconstitutional and the declaration of Senator Diri as the winner be declared invalid having failed to comply with relevant sections of the laws governing such processes.

He is seeking an order setting aside the purported submission of Senator Diri’s name to INEC by the PDP as its candidate in the governorship election coming up on November 16, 2019 in view of the several legal and procedural infractions cited.
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