Edo PDP challenges LG electoral law amendment

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Jethro Ibileke/Benin

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter Thursday resolved to challenge the recent amendment of the Edo State Local Government Electoral Law by the State House of Assembly.

The State Chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, who while addressing journalists in Benin, condemned the composition of the state electoral commission (EDSIEC), adding that the party was heading to the court on the basis of three issues.

According to him, the first issue is whether “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 paragraphs​ 11 and 12 of Part 2 of the second schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended).”

He said the second issue is whether “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).

Orbih said the court would also determine whether “the amendment to the LG law made by the Edo 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 Progressives Congress, APC.

He 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 of Councillors or worked as civil servants in their local government areas should not aspire to elective offices as Councillors or Chairmen.

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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 also called on all members to disqualify themselves.

However, the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, while reacting to issues raised by the PDP, described them as irrelevant and unconvincing.

He declared the PDP as “too depleted and afraid of facing the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election scheduled for March 3.

“The PDP lacks a proper understanding of the law. The Assembly has the rights to make laws for the running and wellbeing of Local Governments including local government elections. The House of Assembly has performed its constitutional duties by amending the Electoral Act,” Ohonbamu said.

Meanwhile, the Inter-party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC, has thrown its weight behind 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, in a statement, said that the State House of Assembly and all concerned should do the needful by properly reconstituting EDSIEC and allowing for the mandatory 90-days notice of poll as enshrined in the Constitution.