APC postpones Bayelsa guber primaries last minute, battles to vacate court order

Posted by Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa | 1 September 2019 | 1,257 times

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•APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomole

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has intensified its efforts to vacate a court order, which stopped its governorship primaries in Bayelsa State.

The party shifted the primaries from August 29th to 31st citing logistic issues and but further postponed it indefinitely following the order by the Sagbama High Court sitting in Yenagoa stopping the planned use of direct method in conducting the internal poll.

An electoral committee headed by the Governor of Yobe State, Mai-Mala Buni, as its Returning Officer, was already in Yenagoa to conduct the internal poll but decided otherwise after waiting in vain for the vacation of the order on Friday.

A party source, who spoke in confidence, said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party thought that it could counter the order at the Court of Appeal to enable the conduct of the primaries, but failed to complete the legal process.

He said: “But everything is in motion to vacate the order on Monday or Tuesday. Surely the order will be vacated. We would have gone ahead to hold the primaries because based on the Electoral Act that injunction is illegal.

“Section 87(10) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, provides that nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general election or the thereof under this Act pending the determination of a suit.

“But the party doesn’t want any legal impediments to its primaries. It is only reasonable to counter the order that since there is still time to do so. All we know is that the order will be voided and the primaries will be conducted wanting he stipulated time.”

Announcing the postponement, the Secretary of the Electoral Committee, Senator Emmanuel Ocheja, described the APC as a law-abiding party with respect for its constitution and the laws of the land.

Ocheja in a statement said: “The APC is aware of conflicting orders from courts of equal jurisdiction on the Bayelsa governorship primary election.

“As a result of these conflicting orders and following a meeting that Governor Mai-Mala Buni had with the aspirants and party stakeholders in Yenagoa, it was resolved that the primary election should be postponed until the committee headed by the governor receives clear direction from the party headquarters on the matter.

“Party members and especially the aspirants are assured that the Bayelsa 2019 governorship primary election will take place within the timeframe stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

It was, however, gathered that some party stalwarts from the camps of the aspirants were suggesting consensus method of selecting the party’s candidate in case other forms of primaries failed to take place.

A major party stakeholder, who spoke in confidence, said they had started tinkering with the idea of a consensus candidate adding that most of the aspirants were ready to harmonise their positions and step down for one of them. (The Nation)


Source: News Express

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