Dennis Idahosa: Declare me winner of Edo APC guber primary election now

Dennis Idahosa, one of the contestants in Edo State’s recently concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election, has urged the party to declare him the winner immediately.

Idahosa stated in a letter to the Edo State Gubernatorial Election Appeal Committee dated February 22, 2024, that he was lawfully elected as the party’s governorship candidate in the earlier primary conducted by the committee led by Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Idahosa, in a letter seen by News24 ¬≥Dennis Idahosa, one of the contestants in Edo State’s recently concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election, has urged the party to declare him the winner immediately.

Idahosa stated in a letter to the Edo State Gubernatorial Election Appeal Committee dated February 22, 2024, that he was lawfully elected as the party’s governorship candidate in the earlier primary conducted by the committee led by Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Idahosa, in a letter seen by a PlatinumPost reporter in Abuja, questioned the party’s choice to hold another primary after he had been duly returned and congratulated by the APC as winner of the last exercise.

The serving member of the House of Representatives also criticized the rerun primary election, arguing the law does not allow for multiple/substitute primary elections.

reporter in Abuja, questioned the party’s choice to hold another primary after he had been duly returned and congratulated by the APC as winner of the last exercise.

The serving member of the House of Representatives also criticized the rerun primary election, arguing the law does not allow for multiple/substitute primary elections.

The letter reads in full : “Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Appeal Committee

40 Blantyre Street Wuse II, Abuja.

Attention: Barr. C. C. Udenwa

22nd February, 2024

APC GOVERNORSHIP PRIMARY ELECTION FOR EDO STATE

I write in respect of the Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election, particularly my victory at the primary election held on 17th February, 2024 which was duly acknowledged by the National haiman of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) as per his congratulatory message widely reported to have been issued on 18h February, 2024. May I, with respect, chronicle the factual background of this letter thus:

1. In preparation for the election to the office of Governor of Edo State, the APC commenced the statutory nomination process by, amongst others, scheduling its primary election for 17 February, 2024,, notifying the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and empaneling a Gubernatorial Election Primary Committee under the auspices of the National Working Committee of the APC pursuant to Article 13.4 (xiv) of the APC Constitution.

2. The following are the members of the Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee – His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodinma (Charman), His Excellency Senator Bassey Otu (Deputy Chairman), H. E. Titilayo Laoye Tomorl, Alhaji Lawan Garba, Honourable Umar Hassan, Professor Nentanwe Yilwatda Goshwe and Alhaji Rabiu Sulaiman (Secretary).

3. The primary election duly held on 17th February, 2024 as scheduled with 12 aspirants participating and I won and was returned winner, having garnered 40,453 votes which was the highest scored amongst the 12 candidates that participated. Attached to this letter as “Annexure APC Edo Guber Primary 1” is the result sheet duly signed by H. E. Senator Hope Uzodinma and Alhaji Rabiu Sulaiman.

4. The Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee also prepared a report duly signed by all its seven members detailing the various steps culminating in my victory at the primary election pursuant to extant and applicable provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Electoral Act, 2022, APC Constitution and Guidelines. The said report is attached as “Annexure APC Edo Guber Primary 2”.

5. In confirming the due conduct of the election, Senator Hope Uzodinma posted the following message on his X handle (formally Twitter) @Hope_uzodinmma1 as follows:

“I Was delighted to announce Hon. Dennis Idahosa @Idahosadennis as the winner of our peacefully conducted Governorship Primary in Benin City. His resounding victory, marked by the highest votes count reflects the trust and confidence our party members have in his leadership.

I commend all aspirants and their supporters for upholding the peace accord, demonstrating maturity and commitment to our party values. Remember the party belongs to us all. This is not a defeat but a testament to our collective strength…”

6. The Punch Newspaper of 18th February, 2024 in its online version accessible at https:l/punchng.com/ganduie-congratulate-edo-apc-qov- candidate-idahosa/ reported you as congratulating our client in the following terms:

“While describing Idahosa as the choice of the people, the APC National Chairman urged him to carry other aspirants along to have a united front ahead of the governorship election in the state.

The former Kano Governor also commended Uzodinma Primary Election Committee. He said, “I want to congratulate the winner of the Edo State governorship election, I want to equally commend and appreciate Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Election Committee for their hard work and the transparent manner in which the election was conducted.”

The National Chairman’s congratulatory message was also carried by other reputable news outlets including The Guardian, Vanguard News, Tribune, The Nation and FRCN

Despite the foregoing, I was surprised when, on 20th February, 2024, a Press Statement surfaced indicating that the NWC considered a report and resolved that the Governorship Primary Election ” has not been completed and has now fixed February 22, 2024 for the completion of the primary election process”. I find the said statement more unusual in the light of the reality that the report of the NWNC Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee was emphatic and unequivocal that not only was the primary election Conclusive but that I won same.

As you will appreciate, nomination of a governorship candidate is mandatorily by democratically conducted primary election where there are multiple aspirants seeking to fly the political party’s flag. The law does not make provision for multiple/substitute primary elections as communicated by the Press Release in the absence of the withdrawal or death of the winner of the primary election, neither does the law permit or anticipate any circumstance where the name of any person aside the winner of the primary election is submitted to INEC as the party’s candidate. Our party ought to be guided on the path of legality and avoid actions that can cause avoidable negative legal consequences for the party.

On 22nd February, 2024, even though there was no outstanding process from the primary election of 17h February, 2024 to be concluded, the Primary Election Committee, with the same members who had signed the earlier report except for H. E. Hope Uzodinma, were in Benin City. However, instead of indicating which part of the earlier primary election the Committee was to conclude, in the course of the day, it proceeded to conduct another primary election purportedly across all the Wards in Edo State. Surprisingly, it announced result that did not tally with the votes from the Wards obtained at any validly or duly conducted primary election and/or Local Government Areas. Consequently, I urge that the purported return of Senator Monday Okpebholo as the winner of the primary election be set aside while I am reinstated and/or declared the winner of the election.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. Dennis Idahosa

APC Governorship Aspirant, Edo State. ”

 

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