By Adeola Oladele
The Peoples Democratic Party may have sang deeper in crisis as the Independent National Electoral Commission has said it would only monitor elections to all offices at the Port Harcourt Convention of the party “except that of National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor following a court order served on it.
INEC also said aside from the National Convention of Peoples Democratic Party holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday, it is unaware of any other convention of the party.
The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Osaze-Uzzi said contrary to media reports that two parallel conventions of the PDP would hold in Abuja and Port Harcourt same day, there was only one known to INEC, which had conducted congresses at all levels.
Some ministers and former governors who are members of the PDP had during the week vowed to conduct a parallel National Convention in Abuja. The group is led by a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana.
But Osaze-Uzzi told NAN: “There is only one PDP known to INEC, which has been holding congresses at the ward, local government, state and zonal levels.
“There is only one convention known to the laws and regulations of INEC, for which we were given appropriate notice and that is the one in Port Harcourt.”
Osaze-Uzzi said the commission would monitor elections to all offices at the Port Harcourt convention “except that of National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor following a court order of which INEC has been served.
“As a law abiding institution, INEC is not going to monitor elections into these three positions because of the court order, expect where there is contrary court order before Saturday.
“But, for every other remaining position, we are going to monitor.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had stopped the PDP from electing anyone into offices of national chairman, national secretary and national auditor of the party at the Saturday convention.
The court restrained INEC from monitoring and or recognizing the conduct of any election into the affected offices pending the hearing and determination of a substantive suit on it.
The National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, is the only candidate for the office of the national chairman for the election.