The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, on Friday filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Benin, challenging the alleged unlawful substitution of his name as the All Progressives Congress candidate for the 2019 National Assembly poll.
Adjoto had contested against the incumbent member representing Akoko-Edo federal constituency, Mr. Peter Akpatason, in the APC primary, whose result was not declared by the Hajia Farida Suleiman-led state primary election committee.
Farida had said that the exercise witnessed violence, including the intimidation of voters, and would be investigated.
Both aspirants had also claimed to have emerged winners of the primary.
But Adjoto, in the suit marked, FHC/B/CS/118/18, with Akpatason, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission as respondents, said that he “clearly” won the House of Representatives’ primary and urged the court to restore him as the candidate of the party.
He lamented that though he had followed the party’s guideline to seek redress, through the panel led by a former governor of the state, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, the measure had not yielded any satisfactory result.
Speaking with journalists on Friday, he explained: “In that primary election conducted by the APC, I won; the returning officer announced that I won the election. Unfortunately, the APC substituted my name with the name of the incumbent, Mr. Peter Akpatason.
“I have explored the internal mechanism of the party; I wrote to the NWC of the APC, through the chairman, that there was the need for them to have a rethink but I did not get any reply.
“I wrote to the Osunbor panel; I even appeared before the panel. Unfortunately, before the panel even came up with its final position on the matter, Form 001 and 002 had already been given to the person who did not win the primary election.
“Having done that the Osunbor panel became crippled. So, I am here (in court) to say that we cannot do wrong things at all times.”
The speaker continued: “It happened to me before; in 2011, the same thing happened. They took my ticket, after winning the primary, and gave it to another person.
Consequent upon the allegation of violence and intimidation of voters during the primary election levelled against the speaker which eventuated in the suspension of the declaration of the result, EDO VOICE had reported that the odds were stacked against Adjoto.
Source: THE PUNCH