THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disowned the Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary organised by the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction.
The primary was moved to Ibadan, Oyo State capital, following a court order, which restrained the Sheriff’s faction from conducting the primary.
At the end of the primary, businessman Jimoh Ibrahim was declared as the faction’s governorship candidate for the November 26 election.
The Igbotako-born politician’s nomination did not get the approval of the electoral body.
INEC was absent at the primary, which, therefore, nullified the process.
Confirming INEC’s absence, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the electoral body stands by the candidate produced by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP National Caretaker Committee.
Oyekanmi, in a telephone interview with The Nation, said INEC was not represented at the Ibadan primary.
He cited the confusion thrown up by different court orders, saying at the end, the commission will take a decision in line with the rule of law.
He said: “For the activity that Ali Modu Sheriff faction did yesterday, we did not monitor. I can also confirm that.
“It is still the Makarfi candidate for now. As I said, I understand there is another court judgment today, and we are still waiting for details. But as I speak, the situation is still as before. But when we receive a superior court order, we will adjust.
“If you are talking about the activity they had yesterday, we did not monitor that because of the subsisting court orders. So, of course, I understand that another court judgment took place today, but we were yet to be served.
“So, I cannot give you any detail on that. We have been discussing with our legal team and they said we have not been served. I don’t also have the full information and we are also still waiting.
“I just want you to note something that whatever action we take, we are not interested in A or B faction. We just want to follow the rule of law.
“We have been getting contradictory orders and these things are a bit confusing.
“When we get such order, our legal team looks at them and we take the most appropriate action that aligns us with the rule of law. It will be a mistake to say INEC is taking sides. We are not interested in either Makarfi or Sheriff. It is what the court tells us to do; the order we are given is what we will obey.”