EDO 2024: Fireworks begin as Idahosa writes INEC, claims he won APC primary

The bickering in the aftermath of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State is yet to wane, as one of the aspirants Dennis Idahosa, has written to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, not to receive any other name as the candidate of the party apart from him, claiming that he won the primary election.

It will be recalled that the crisis started when the first primary, conducted on February 17, threw up three winners, including Idahosa.

A rerun primary later conducted on February 22 produced Monday Okpebholo as the winner with 12,433 ahead of Idahosa, who polled 6,541 votes.

Idahosa, however, rejected the outcome of the poll.

He wrote the INEC Chairman, through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), demanding to be recognized as the Edo APC governorship candidate.

The letter dated March 4, 2024, and referenced WOC/ABJ/VOL.01/074/2024, alluded to a lawsuit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024 between Idahosa and Okpebholo.

Also joined as defendants were the APC and INEC.

In the suit, Idahosa said he won the February 17 2024 exercise monitored by the INEC where he was declared the winner and that there was no basis for the supplementary or rerun election, which Okpebholo won.

According to him, the February 22 election was not a standalone election but a continuation of the February 17 exercise, so the results of the former exercise could not be jettisoned.

Olanipekun said: “Our client disagrees that the primary election of 17th February 2024 was inconclusive or that there was any basis to schedule what was described as a completion of the process. Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/ 274/2024 has been instituted to ventilate that challenge.

“As things stand, INEC is in custody of two results for the APC primary election for the 2024 governorship election in Edo State (one dated 17th February 2024, and the other dated 23rd February 2024). The summation of the votes in both results demonstrates clearly that our client won the primary election even if his votes from the 17th February 2024 results are the only ones reckoned with.

“Put differently, an addition of the votes of all the other aspirants from both results will neither match nor supersede our client’s votes from 17th February 2024. At best (assuming it is valid), the completion primary election of 22nd February 2024 was a supplementary election.

“Fortunately, the commission under your leadership has had cause to conduct supplementary elections including the 2018 governorship election in Osun State where a winner was declared by INEC upon a summation of the votes from the main and supplementary election.”


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