By Henry Umoru

ABUJA— FOLLOWING the Court of Appeal judgment last year postponing gubernatorial elections in some states till next year, there were strong indications, yesterday, that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will conduct new  primary elections in these states.

The states are Adamawa, Kogi, Cross River, Bayelsa and Sokoto.

National Working Committee, NWC, of the party directed that the governorship fees paid by all aspirants be refunded to them.

It would be recalled that prior to the judgment and primaries for the April elections, some aspirants had paid the mandatory N5 million application fee and the Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed the dates for the elections.

Governorship elections

The affected state governors had gone to court to restrain INEC from conducting the governorship  elections. Kogi State has the highest number of aspirants that paid the N5 million application fee. Thirty one aspirants from the state paid the fee.

National Treasurer of PDP, Chief William Makinde, told newsmen that the party has directed that money paid by the affected governorship candidates be refunded to the affected governorship aspirants.

He said: “Those states where there were no elections, and they bought forms, the chairman has directed that we return their money to them, because when the dates for the new governorship election are fixed,  they will be required to buy new sets of forms. So we are refunding them, but we are refunding to the candidates, not to the party.”

On why the N5 million application fee and the expression of interest must be refunded, Makinde said:  “We took money from them for the 2011 election, since they did not contest the 2011 election, we are returning their money to them.

What will happen after that will be the decision of the party.

“What it means is that if these aspirants refund the money, all and new governorship aspirants in the affected states will face fresh primary election in their respective states. For instance, there would be a fresh election in Kogi State where Alhaji Isah Jubrin who emerged candidate will face stiff opposition in the hands of Isa Kutepa who had earlier challenged the emergence of Isah Jubril.”

Also in Adamawa State, the incumbent governor, Murtala Nyako, will face fresh PDP primary election between him and several others who had earlier pitched their tents against him.

Other states where there would be fresh governorship primary election include Bayelsa State, with Governor Timipre Sylva as the main contender to the office of the governor.

Cross River State, Governor Liyel Imoke; and his Sokoto State counterpart, Magatarda Wammako will face the PDP governorship primaries to determine who gets the ticket of the party. All the gubernatorial primaries are expected to take place in 2012 with the first of the governorship elections coming up in Kogi State in May 2012 and to be followed by Adamawa State.

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