Ondo 2024: NNPP Petitions INEC Over Candidates’ Impersonation

Ondo 2024: NNPP Petitions INEC Over Candidates’ Impersonation

The New Nigeria People’s Party has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission over the alleged impersonation of the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Gbenga Edema, and his running mate, Rotimi Adeyemi, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

The electoral commission scheduled November 16, 2024, for the governorship poll and the NNPP, is among the 17 political parties that would be contesting the election for the number one seat in the state.

In a letter addressed to the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made available on Wednesday, the national secretariat of the NNPP, called for investigation and prompt legal action against the alleged impersonators.

In the letter signed by the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the party, Mr Ajuji Ahmed and Dipo Olayoku, respectively, the party described the development as a clear breach of the 2022 electoral act, the party.

According to the letter, the party said the INEC was duly notified of the emergence of Edema and Adeyemi as its standard-bearers during the substituted governorship primary held on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Solton Hotel, Ijapo Estate, Akure, Ondo State capital, following the withdrawal of Oluwatosin Ayeni and Abigail Omoyugbo for personal reasons.

It also maintained that the candidature of Edema and Adeyemi was legally recognised as their names and credentials were published by INEC as the party’s candidates.

The party said in the letter, “We wish to bring to the attention of your good office a case of impersonation of the NNPP governorship and deputy governorship candidates in the forthcoming off-cycle on November 16, 2024. You would recall, sir, that we informed your good office of our Ondo State Governorship Primary fixed for Friday, April 26, 2024, via a letter NNPP/HQRTS/INEC/024/23 dated March 7, 2024.

“At the said primary, monitored by officials of the INEC, Mr. Ayeni Oluwatosin Israel emerged as the NNPP governorship candidate, and he later picked Mrs. Omoyugbo Abike Abigail as his running mate, and the two names were published by INEC.

“However, due to what they called personal reasons, the two of them withdrew their candidature, which prompted the NNPP to schedule a fresh primary to elect a replacement on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Solton Hotel, Ijapo Estate, Akure, Ondo State via our letter NNPP/HQRTS/INEC/024/54. The fresh primary was monitored by INEC officials, where Barr. Gbenga Omogbemi Edema emerged as the new governorship candidate of the NNPP, and he later picked Barr. Rotimi Emmanuel Adeyemi as his running mate.

“These two names were later published by your good office in the final list of governorship candidates and their deputies on Friday, June 14, 2024.”

The party alleged that there had been posters pasted around the towns in the state bearing pictures of another person as a governorship candidate and the deputy governorship candidate of the NNPP, alleging that the persons in the posters were impersonating the real candidate and deputy governorship candidate of the party. It noted that the alleged impersonators were unknown to the party.

“We therefore wish to submit that this is a clear case of impersonation and a breach of the electoral law. We believe that such an act should not be handled with kid gloves, and it deserves serious attention and action by the INEC to serve as a deterrent to those whose objective is to truncate the forthcoming governorship election and indeed the peace of Ondo State,” the party pleaded.

The NNPP also urged that INEC take legal against the alleged duo impersonators in line with the Electoral Act and other statutory laws of the land.




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