By Lucky Isibor
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has resolved to challenge the recent amendment of the Edo state local government Electoral law by the State House of Assembly even as it condemned the composition of the state electoral commission.
Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Dan Osi Orbih addressing reporters after a stakeholders meeting at the Party secretariat in Benin City, the Edo state capital said that the party was heading to the court on the basis of three issues and as such will not participate in the charade.
According to him, “the Edo state house of assembly cannot validly amend the Edo state local government Electoral law to abridge the length of notice of poll stated in section 30(1)of the electoral act, 2010 as amended having regard to paragraph 11 and 12 of Part 2 of the second schedule to the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended.
“No valid local government election can be conducted in Edo state without giving the claimant and other stakeholders the mandatory 90-days notice of poll stated in section 30(1) of the electoral act 2010 (as amended).
According to him the court would also determine whether, “the amendment to the Local government law made by the Edo State house of assembly on 12th Dec. 2017 was done in violation of the mandatory provisions of the rules of the Edo state house of assembly on law making process in the house and section 100(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The PDP chairman said the party decided to seek legal redress on the matter to help put an end to the unending impunity being orchestrated in Edo state and the country by the ruling All Peoples Congress, APC.
Orbih also frowned at what he called the undemocratic guidelines the APC has made available to its members to the effect that party members who have held positions as Councillors or worked as civil servants in their local government should and cannot aspire to elective offices as Councillors or Chairmen.
He then urged all aggrieved APC members in the state who feel disenfranchised as a result of the guidelines to seek legal redress since the guidelines do not only negate the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but even the Constitution of the APC as a party.
The PDP chairman who rejected and objected to the composition of the Edo state Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC with Professor Eke Orobator as Chairman called on all its members whom he said are card carrying members of registered political parties in the country to disqualify themselves.
It will be recalled that Prof Eke Orobator, was a member of the last EDSIEC and was the presiding officer in the rerun Esan North East Local Government Election in 2013 when election results were announced even though counting and collation were allegedly in progress.
Meanwhile Chief Orbih has reminded the EDSIEC of its N13million debt to the PDP arising from a Court of Appeal ruling on 13 November 2015, upholding an earlier order of the High Court, which was also in its favour.
The party chairman wondered why EDSIEC has refused to pay this debt which was the amount it illegally demanded from PDP candidates before clearing them to contest for the office of chairmen and councillors in the 2013 Local government elections in the state.
“We want our money” chief Orbih demanded, “EDSIEC and Orobator cannot be Tax and revenue collectors on behalf of Edo State government”
In a related development the Inter-party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC, has aligned itself with the submission of the Edo PDP on the abiding of the notice of poll for the Edo state local government arguing that it puts all other parties besides the ruling APC in a disadvantage.
Chairperson of IPAC in the state Comrade Tracy Agoi said in a statement that the State house of assembly and all concerned should do the needful by properly reconstituting EDSIEC and allowing the mandatory 90- days notice of poll as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.