Dr. Olajide Adediran, widely known as Jandor, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the March 18, 2023, Lagos State governorship election, has asserted that both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) have fallen short of adhering to the stipulations of the Electoral Act during their individual primary processes.
Jandor made these allegations while speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday. He pointed out purported instances of non-compliance by the APC and LP during their respective primaries, raising concerns about the adherence to the legal framework governing the electoral process.
He said: “In our case, we have submitted before the tribunal that these two political parties [APC and LP] did not comply with the provisions of that law, and throughout the trial, they did not submit anything to contradict that position, including calling witnesses and others.
“Secondly, according to the Electoral Act, for a primary election to be held, there must be a notification or communication from the political party to INEC that will speak about the date and venue, which must be authorized by the national body of the party (NEC).
“The two political parties did not comply with this because the notification they sent to INEC was signed by the state chapter of the party, which is in contradiction to their provision. Failure to do that means your candidate will not be included in that election; it’s clearly in the electoral act.”
Speaking further, Jandor urged the election tribunal to disqualify the candidates of the APC and LP.
“At this point, the job is already done; the facts are before the court, and there’s nothing to add or remove. Our petition is premised on the disqualification of both candidates.
“Elections in Nigeria are held under certain rules provided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Part of these rules is that whoever wants to run for the office of governor, especially in Lagos State or any other state in Nigeria, must be a member of a political party who must sponsor such a person for that election.
“That is Section 177 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sponsorship includes holding a valid primary and making sure such a candidate did not submit falsified information or documents to INEC. That is taken care of by Section 182 of the Constitution.”
The claim by Jandor casts a spotlight on the integrity and transparency of the primary elections held by these political parties, emphasizing the importance of upholding the Electoral Act’s provisions to ensure a fair and equitable democratic process.
The Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal has set aside Saturday, August 12 for the adoption of final written addresses in the petitions submitted by Jandor and the PDP, and Rhodes-Vivour of the LP.