The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over delegates’ list may be settled soon going by recent documents as seen by Politicos on Thursday.
The party has been in crisis following the conduct of governorship election in Abeokuta, capital of the state in May.
During the primary, agents and supporters of the major contenders clashed over the authentic list of delegates.
Dissatisfied with the process, over 370 of the 708 ad-hoc delegates that were disenfranchised proceeded to a Federal High Court in Abeokuta which nullified the process, saying that PDP used the statutory and/or unelected delegates for the purported primary – in violation of the provisions of Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The court then ordered a new primary election which produced Lawal as candidate of the party in the state.
Following letters written by the National Headquarters of the PDP, facts have now emerged to show that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed there are two delegates’ list.
In a letter to the Director, Election and Party Monitoring Department of INEC by Oyafunke Olanike, HOD, Election and Party Monitoring Department, Ogun State, the electoral body admitted of monitoring the “actual” party Congress which produced the authentic delegates list.
In two separate letters dated 18th July, 2022 and 8th August, 2022, INEC said the Ogun State office of the Commission filed the report and results of the 30th April, 2022 three-man Ad-hoc Congress that they monitored with the Commission’s headquarters on the 16th of May, 2022.
In the Certified True Copy of the letter marked “Ex 4” and dated 18th July, 2022, INEC stated that it attached “herewith the Ad-hoc Delegates Result sheet submitted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the 27th May, 2022 to the INEC Ogun state office after the completion of all its primaries election on the 25th May, 2022. However, we had earlier forwarded on the spot report of the actual congress monitored by the INEC Monitoring Team to INEC Headquarters, Abuja on 16th May, 2022”.
In the second letter marked “Ex 5” and dated 8th August, 2022, which was also certified on the 21st October, 2022, INEC again confirmed that it was the list submitted vide PDP’s letter of 27th May, 2022 that was used for the governorship primary election but noted that it was different from the one it monitored and certified.
Specifically, it reads, “i.The three (3)-Man ward Ad-hoc delegates that were attached to the report submitted by the Department caused rancour in Governorship Election, due to the Delegates list brought by the PDP National Organizing Committee, which were different from the Certified True Copy (CTC) from INEC Headquarters, Abuja stamped on it. (Find attached: Delegates List given at the venue of the Governorship Primary Election on the 25th May, 2022, which caused rancor and disagreement – ANNEXURE I)
“ii. Another delegates list was forwarded by the PDP after the completion of all its Primary Election on the 25th May 2022, and the list was forwarded on the 27th of May 2022 to the INEC Ogun State office, which corresponds with the delegates list attached to the report (Find attached: The Delegates List forwarded by the party after the conclusion of the Governorship Primary Election – ANNEXURE II)
“III. The three (3) man Ad-hoc Delegates Congress were monitored by INEC Monitoring Team from the twenty (20) Local Government Areas on the 30th April, 2022, which had been earlier forwarded to the Headquarters, Abuja on the 16th of May, 2022 (Find attached: three (3) Man Ward Ad-hoc Delegates Congress monitored by the INEC Monitoring Team at the LGAs. ANNEXURE III)”.
The on-the-spot results that were collated by INEC Monitoring Team on the 30th of April, 2022, across the 20 LGAs and forwarded vide the letter marked “Ex 1” and dated the 16th of May, 2022, were the CTCs that Otunba Jimi Lawal got on the 18th of May, 2022 and submitted to the office of the National Organizing Secretary of the PDP on two occasions – 18th and 19th May, 2022.
However, that was not the delegates list that was used by the PDP National Organizing Committee that conducted the governorship primary election.
Checks by this medium revealed that the disenfranchisement of the duly elected delegates that emerged from the three-man ad-hoc ward delegates congress that INEC monitored and certified is the crux of the crisis rocking the Ogun state chapter of the PDP ahead of the 2023 general election.
Multiple sources reveal that the delegates that previously elected the former House of Representatives member, Hon. Ladi Adebutu may have been generated or handpicked by the aspirant or his allies.
They say it was after the delegates list was challenged by Lawal at the venue of the governorship primary election on the 25th of May, 2022 that they decided to cover up their tracks by submitting the controversial delegates list to INEC on the 27th of May, 2022.