Edo PDP Crisis; As We Await The Next Turn Of Jubilation
……..Make una go settle politically for God’s sake…
Mike O. Enahoro
There is injustice everywhere and the judiciary which is supposed to be the hope of the common man has become the major promoter of corruption and injustice; where judgment can be procured depending on the highest bidders. If the bidders equaled themselves, there will be a judgment that favours no one. Yes, a situation where judges collect money from two sides of the coin and say to two fighters; go, none of you caused the fight.
Before we continue to jubilate, let us holistically ask ourselves; how can two people fight yet, none was at fault? Yes, item three of that judgment said, go thou thee, we find no one guilty hence no fine. That simply means, no one is at fault yet, two were fighting.
Imagine three judges saying, “it’s a domestic affair that court cannot interfere in political party matter” when indeed the law is explicit in Electoral Act 2022, 84:14.
Now, let us look at Section 84; (13 – 14 ) together.
_*(13) Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for election shall not be
included in the election for the particular position in the issue.*_
As per those thinking, INEC has no right to reject candidate(s), this one empowers INEC to have the capacity to reject candidate(s) from political parties when it is established that the establishment of those candidate(s) lacks any of the provisions of the Act. The only political party prayer is that, when a political party infringes any of the provisions in the process of establishing candidates, no member of the aspirants is aggrieved to petition INEC or approach the court if the aspirant has a favourable situation on the side of INEC that observed or monitored the process. This does not mean INEC is the one publishing result. If INEC monitored a process and has its internal report, an individual has the right to secure that document from INEC using the FOI Act 2011. That was exactly how some people went to get CTC that was highly publicized that looked like INEC published candidates. Why did they not also publish other states? Those who went to obtain the CTC are those who circulated it not INEC. So, before you talk, understand exactly what happened. It was not INEC that published Edo’s PDP report. It was CTC obtained from INEC.
_*(14) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or rules of a political party, an aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of this Act and the guidelines of a political party have not been complied with in the selection or nomination of a candidate of a political party for election, may apply to the Federal High Court for6 redress.*_
On the issue of domestic affairs; subsection 14 was very clear. Political party primary is not purely a domestic affair of political parties because the Electoral Act envisaged abuse of power by the leadership of the political parties. If there is any established provision not met either in the *Act* or the *political party guidelines,* redress in the Federal High Court becomes inevitable. Political party prayer should be that the aspirant shortchanged do not approach the Federal High Court. If any do, the court cannot hide under the guise of domestic affairs.
Let’s look at the Judgment once again, the Appeal Court did not say, the case lacks merit. No, it only ran away from its responsibility of settling a case of two fighting by pushing it back to the political party. To me, it only postponed an evil day. The July 22, 2022, Appeal Court judgment on the Edo PDP crisis has only refused to be upright and that judgment cannot stand the test of time. Again, it only gave some leverage and opportunity for the party to go and solve its problem in which, unfortunately, our political party has refused to do the needful.
Is the Apex Court going to because of Edo State PDP holds the whole country to a standstill? The answer is for the Supreme Court to give.
INEC is saying, it monitored the process and has observed something. “This is what we observed.” INEC will not say anything if there is no set of people who feel aggrieved. This is where our party leaders have failed us.
Until the Electoral Act, 2022 is amended to expunge the part being discussed above, I urge you all to go and use the political settlement to do the needful before the Supreme Court show with the hammer.