Elders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos Mainland (West) have rejected the outcome of the House of Representatives primary election which produced Lanre Oshun as the winner.
A press statement, jointly signed by Baba Babs Fashina and Akibu Bankole, Chairman and Secretary respectively of Lagos Mainland West Elders Forum, said the exercise, held on Friday, May 27, 2022, was a “complete fraud”.
According to the elders’ forum, the exercise suffered from substantial non-compliance with the constitution of APC, the Electoral Act 2022 and the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the primary.
The rejection of the outcome of the primary by the Elders Forum is the sequel to the filing of an appeal by one of the leading aspirants for the ticket, Prince Akeem Animashaun, with the Primary Election Appeal Committee of the APC.
In his petition to the APC Appeal Committee, dated May 29, 2022, Animashaun described the exercise as a charade, lacking any compliance with the constitution of the party, its rules and guidelines for the conduct of primaries, and the Electoral Act 2022.
He asserted that the delegates who voted in the primary were not elected by members of the party, and were selected by a few individuals to the exclusion of other party members, in total disregard for the constitution of APC and the Electoral Act 2022
“This was the reason why the delegates list was shrouded in secrecy and aspirants were not allowed access to the purported delegates list. The onus to prove the validity of the delegates list and its compliance with applicable laws is on the shoulders of those who claim it is genuine,” he added.
In a press statement, the elders further noted that the election which was initially scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 28, 2022, was, however, conducted on Friday, May 27, 2022, without adequate dissemination of information regarding the change of date to aspirants and other party members.
Part of the statement read, “Even when the election was suppose to start, the illegal delegates were asked to vacate the hall for another round of accreditation (done), where names were called and no proper means of identification (used). At this point, individuals whose names were not on the illegal delegates list were allowed to enter the hall and they succeeded in voting
Another illegality committed at the venue of the primary was the invasion of the venue by thugs who were there on the invitation of an aspirant. This is a total and flagrant contravention of Article 21.2 (viii) and (ix) of the All Progressives Congress Constitution As Amended.
“The thugs at some point were cursing and intimidating the party officials that came to conduct the exercise, as well as members of the party present to observe the whole process.
“Upon the conclusion of the charade thugs who came to the venue on the orders of the said aspirant and started shooting sporadically into the air in residential areas.
“It is in light of the foregoing that we call on the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by the national chairman of the party Sen. Abdulahi Adamu to cancel the illegal House of Representatives Primary of 27th May, 2022 for Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency as it was not conducted in compliance with Electoral Act and the All Progressive Congress Constitution.
“We also demand the disqualification of Hon. Lanre Oshun for contravening Article 21.2 (iv)(vii)(viii)(ix) and (xii) of the All Progressive Constitution. We are of the strong belief that such disciplinary action will serve as a deterrent to other party members who might want to thread on the path of illegality. The party must not be seen as a toothless bulldog that cannot sanction its members for wrongdoing.”
Another leading aspirant for the ticket and two-term Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Adekanye Oladele, had withdrawn from the race a day before the primary, alleging that the party leadership had compromised the process to suit their preferred aspirant.
In his withdrawal letter, addressed to the Lagos chapter of APC, Adekanye said no ad hoc delegates election was held in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area between the 16th and 18th of May, 2022, as stipulated by the Electoral Act, and accused the party leadership of generating fictitious names and handing over same as to their preferred aspirant as delegates on the eve of the election.
Adekanye said in his withdrawal letter, “How is it defensible that a few hours to the election even aspirants do not know the delegates that will participate in the election?
“To be sure, the Electoral Act stipulates a minimum of seven (7) days for the list of delegates to be available with INEC.”