Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Ex Minister Drags Secondus, PDP To Court Over Convention


Efforts of the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party to resolve the crisis, among aggrieved party members over the outcome of the party's recent national convention may have met brickwalls. One of the aspirants who vied for the position of the party's national chairmanship at the December 9 convention, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, has filed a suit seeking the nullification of the result of the chairmanship election.
Prince Uche Secondus, who polled 2,000 votes in the election, was declared the winner ahead of Adedoja, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who were the other aspirants. Dokpesi got 66 votes, Adeniran, 230 and Adedoja, zero. Other aspirants like Chief Olabode George, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and Senator Rashidi Ladoja stepped down before the election.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, Adedoja, a former Minister of Youths and Sports, claimed that he was excluded from the chairmanship race. He said the zero score credited to him by the PDP had embarrassed and maligned him“and brought great ridicule" to his political career which he claimed he built over 14 years.
Though he said he was not in court to contest the result, he said he was contesting an error in his name on the ballot paper used at the convention. He said the name on the ballot paper was "Taoheed Oladoja" while his name is "Taoheed Adedoja". In the suit, marked FHC /ABJ /CS / 1225/2017 filed on his behalf at an Abuja Federal High Court by Messrs Rickey Tarfa & Co ., the aspirant is seeking four prayers.
He is praying "the court to declare the election of the national chairman of the PDP held at the Eagle Square in Abuja on December 9, 2017, null and void. "Pray the court to declare as null and void any document submitted by the PDP or by the purported occupier of the position of the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
"Pray the court for the cancellation of the national chairmanship election held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the Eagle Square Abuja. "Pray the court to order the conduct of another elective national convention for the election of the national chairman within 30 days of nullification of the elective national convention held on December 9, 2017.
"Restrain INEC from recognising Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP on the grounds that the election where Uche Secondus was declared national chairman of the PDP, where I was unlawfully excluded from the list of the contestants for the position of national chairman of PDP, is a flagrant violation of the Electoral Act, the constitution of the PDP, the guidelines for the conduct of the PDP National Convention and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria".
The defendants in the suit are the Chairman and the Secretary of the PDP National Convention Planning Committee , Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Dr. Ibrahim Umar respectively. Secondus, the PDP and INEC were also joined as defendants. Adedoja said he drew the attention of Okowa to the error in his name, which he said the governor promised to correct but nothing was done on the matter.
He said the zero score recorded against his name had opened him to ridicule. Adedoja said, "I have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the public ridicule the election result has caused me, my family members, friends and associates. "My lawyers are demanding appropriate compensation for damages, ridicule, embarrassment and the disrepute brought to my name as a result of the wilful exclusion of my name from participating in the election, resulting in the zero score credited to my name which is now in the public domain .”
It was gathered that no time had been fixed for the hearing of the case. Meanwhile, Punch gathered that some aggrieved members of the party were planning to set up a parallel national secretariat for the party. Though details of the plot were not known as of the time of going to press, it was , however, gathered that the proposed secretariat might be opened at Asokoro District in Abuja.


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