News

April 17, 2024

Edo 2024: LP replaces running mate as Imansuangbon seeks candidate’s disqualification

Edo 2024: LP replaces running mate as Imansuangbon seeks candidate’s disqualification

By Ozioruva Aliu,BENIN CITY

AHEAD of the September 21 governorship election, the running mate to Olumide Akpata who is the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) has been replaced by Prince Kadiri Asamah (SAN).

There are conflicting reasons for the replacement as some say Mrs Alufokhai Oluyinka who was initially revealed as the running mate was only a placeholder, others say there are discrepancies in her academic records submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The state chairman of the party, Kelly Ogballoi could not be reached while the Director General of Akpata Campaign Organisation, Toju David did not pick repeated calls to his mobile but a chairmanship candidate in one of the local government areas in Edo South who did not want to mentioned since he does not have the authority of the party to speak said Oluyinka was only a place holder who whose name was sent to meet the INEC’s deadline and insisted that there were no discrepancies in her academic qualifications being alleged in some quarters.

Meanwhile, a governorship aspirant of the party, Kenneth Imansuangbon has asked the court to prevent Akpata from parading himself as the candidate of the party and to this effect, he has filed two suits at the Federal High Court in Benin City and Abuja

In suit No. FHC B/CS/26/2024 and filed at the Federal High Court in Benin City through his counsel A.A. Malik & Co, Imansuangbon said that the LP which is the second defendant in the suit erred by declaring Olumide Akpata the winner of the party’s primary conducted on February 23, 2024 while in the suit in Abuja, he alleged Akpata and Alufokha lied under oath and supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the Benin suit, Imansuangbon said Akpata was not qualified to have contested the primary having violated the provisions of the section 222(c) of the Nigeria constitution as well as Article 28 of the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the primary.

Imansuangbon wanted the votes garnered by the first defendant in the primary be declared invalid and wasted.

The plaintiff, who listed nine issues for determination and 18 others for declaration by the court, asked the court to set aside the LP February 23 governorship primary in the Edo state.

He asked the court to determine if Akpata is qualified to have contested the primary having failed to sign or endorse the indemnity form issued to him by the second defendant.

He also asked the court to determine if the votes garnered in the purported primary should not be voided and wasted in the face of outright disregard to the constitutional provisions of the country and that of the party.

Similarly, Imansuangbon asked the court to determine if he that scored the second highest votes in the said primary should not be declared the winner and validly nominated to be the governorship candidate of the LP.

Alternatively, the court was asked to determine if the party conducted the February 23 governorship primary in a manner outlined, prescribed or otherwise circumscribed by section 84 of the electoral Act, 2022.

He said the court should also determine if the primary did not run afoul of the provisions of section 84(2), (3), (4) & (5) of the electoral Act, 2022.

In his declaration, the plaintiff told the court to bar the INEC or any other agent from recognizing Akpata as the governorship candidate of the LP for the September 21 Edo governorship poll.

In the Abuja suit, Imansuangbon alleged that Akpata supplied false information to the INEC according to information provided in the form EC9.

He said that Akpata claimed to have been Akpata Olumide Anthony, but filled in his name to be Akpata Olumide Osaigbovo.

Similarly, his now replaced running mate who said that she was born in 1981, claimed to have had her first school leaving certificate the same year she was born.