By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the rejection of the House of Representatives’ primaries conducted by the party in Ekiti North Federal Constituency II.
The party said INEC as an observer has no right under the Electoral Act to reject results of duly conducted primary election, saying; “primary election is purely an internal affairs of political parties.”
Chief Thaddeus Aina won the primaries held on Sunday, defeating other aspirants.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti, Alhaji Halilu Pai, said the commission would not recognise the primary, claiming that there was no evidence that the primary took place as the commission did not witness it.
However, the PDP, in a statement issued by the state Organising Secretary, Alhaji Lateef Agbaje, insisted that the primary election took place in accordance with all extant rules and a candidate emerged.
“In accordance with our party rules guiding conduct of primary elections, Chief Thaddeus Aina emerged as the House of Representatives candidate and that remains valid.
“There was an Appeal Committee for aggrieved aspirants to approach for complaints and as at today, we are not aware that the Appeal Committee cancelled the exercise.
“We are also not aware of any of our party member complaining to INEC and joining the commission in any suit, challenging the outcome of the primary so as to warrant INEC making any statement.
“Therefore, we state that Chief Thaddeus Aina is our party’s candidate for Ekiti North Federal Constituency II, and absence of INEC, which only enjoys supervisory role and not adjudicatory role cannot make the primary election invalid.
“After all, other supervisory agencies like the Police, State Security Service (SSS) and Civil Defence were present to authenticate the conduct of the primary election.”