Factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission cannot reject the candidate of his faction for the Edo governorship election.
He therefore described as rumour the adoption of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu by the commission as the party’s candidate for the September 10 governorship election in the state.
Sheriff’s faction of the party had presented Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen who emerged winner at his faction’s primary, as the party’s candidate for the election.
The commission said it took the decision based on a Rivers State Federal High Court, Port Harcourt’s judgement, which recognised the Ahmed Makarffi-led National Caretaker Committee.
It also said that unlike the Sheriff’s faction, it monitored the party’s primary that produced Ize-Iyamu.
In spite of the court decision which the commission said it based its judgment on, Sheriff said he was still sure that the commission would remedy what he described as a mistake.
Sheriff and Makarffi spoke on Wednesday when they played hosts to different political and professional groups on solidarity visit.
Sheriff, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, when Young Professionals from South-South visited him, described the adoption of Ize-Iyamu as PDP candidate as rumour.
He said, “We hear a rumour making the rounds that INEC has accepted another person as candidate of the PDP for Edo State governorship election.
“I hereby dispel the rumor and categorically state that INEC has not yet communicated such decision to us.”
Ojougboh said that INEC was still considering all judgements and orders of the court on the PDP leadership crisis, adding that the orders of Federal High Court Abuja specifically asked INEC to recognise only candidates presented by the Sheriff-led faction of the party.
“The court in Port Harcourt is not superior to the court in Abuja, and as such cannot reverse the specific orders of the Abuja court ruling that INEC can only accept PDP
candidates from Sheriff leadership for purposes of Edo and Ondo governorship elections,” Ojougboh stated.
He appealed to members of the party, especially in Edo State, to remain calm saying that the matter was being sorted out.