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PDP to INEC: Withdraw Edo lawmakers-elect certificates of return

BAYELSA GUBER: PDP downplays last minute defections from the party

The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw certificates of return from 14 members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly.

According to the party, the refusal of the affected persons to subscribe to the oath of membership/allegiance for the affected constituencies throughout the Assembly’s first session and first quarter amounted to abdication of office

The 14 persons in question who were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were not sworn in with their colleagues due to a political crisis in the state chapter of the party.

The PDP, in a letter to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the right thing for INEC to do was to withdraw the affected members’ certificates of return since they have failed to function as lawmakers.

The letter, signed by Chikaodinaka Adindu, counsel for the PDP and its candidates in the House of Assembly election, opposed the call for a fresh election for the constituencies by the Speaker of the Assembly, Frank Okiye.

The party reasoned that state resources should not be wasted in conducting fresh elections where there are first runners-up in the concluded elections and where the affected members-elect were not sworn in.

The letter reads in part: “The Doctrine of Necessity should be invoked to issue a certificate of return to the first runner-up in the election to save their constituencies from undue suffering and neglect having performed their civic responsibility of voting only to be denied the dividend of democracy.

“We are by this letter demanding/requesting you and your Commission to use your good offices to issue to our client’s certificates of return within the next seven days of the receipt of this letter.

“Failure to accede to request in the interest of justice and equity as clearly communicated by this letter, we shall be left with no other option than to carry out the full instructions of our clients by instituting an action in a court of law.

“We look forward to hearing from you within the next seven days.”

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