21st June, 2012
The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) on Wednesday officially released the list of candidates cleared for the 21 July, local government election in the state.
Mr Mutiu Agboke, the Chairman, OGSIEC Screening Committee, released the list of cleared candidates to leaders of various political parties in Abeokuta.
According to the list 91 chairmanship candidates were cleared.
The commission also cleared 717 councillorship candidates to contest for the headship of the 236 wards in the state.
A total of nine chairmanship candidates and 98 Councillorship candidates were disqualified for various violations of the electoral rules.
The list, however, showed that the commission defied Tuesday’s judgment by the State High Court sitting in Ilaro.
The Court had ordered that only the Adebayo Dayo-led state executive committee of the PDP should be recognised as the authentic authority to nominate the party’s candidates for the forthcoming council polls.
The electoral body chose to recognise and cleared list of candidates nominated by the two factions of PDP, saying it would take its position on the judgment later.
Justice Mosun Dipeolu had, on Tuesday, struck out the suit filed by the candidates whose names were submitted by the PDP national secretariat for the local government election and ruled in favour of Dayo-led executive.
Twenty chairmanship candidates were cleared for the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), 14 for Peoples’ Party of Nigeria (PPN), four each for African Renaissance Party (ARP) and Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN); three for Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Two candidates each were also cleared for Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Community Party of Nigeria (CPN) and Citizens Peoples Party (CPP) while All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Labour Party (LP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Peoples Salvation Party (PSP) had one each.
For the PDP in the state, 18 and 17 chairmanship candidates were cleared for the first and second factions respectively while 213 and 156 councillorship candidates were also cleared for both.
The state PDP Secretary of the Dayo -led faction, Mr Semiu Sodipo, alleged that OGSIEC was not prepared for the poll.
Sodipo also faulted the decision of the electoral body to release candidates’ list for two factions of PDP, insisting that such action was in violation of the court order.
“OGSIEC is not prepared for the election. Less than a month to the election, no electoral officer and electoral offices across the local government.
“The commission is far from being prepared to conduct free, fair and credible election, they are collaborating with ACN to destabilise the PDP.”
Reacting, OGSIEC denied the allegation that it was not ready for the election.
Agboke, who spoke on behalf of the commission, said the body released timetable for the polls, organised town hall meetings in three senatorial districts and conducted screening exercise for the contestants in compliance with the guidelines.
“It is a calculated attempt to mislead and orchestrate deliberate confusion in the minds of teeming electorate that are ready to participate in the election.
“The electoral officers are on ground. There are procedures to be carried out and the State Security Service (SSS) are doing thorough job on them.” (NAN)