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In a fresh development, things are looking bleak in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s camp as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected their rescheduled ward congress.
The Imo State chapter of PDP had, in a letter, dated May 9, 2022, notified the commission that it had rescheduled its congress to hold on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
But INEC, in a letter addressed to the party and signed by the commission’s secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, on Wednesday, said the party’s notice contravened the commission’s regulations for political party operations.
“The commission notes that the notice was received on May 9, 2022 and the congress was rescheduled for May 10, 2022 contrary to the provision (of) Article 1.2 of the commission’s Regulations Guidelines for political party operations which requires at least a seven-day notice for rescheduled congresses,” the letter read in part.
INEC also said it would not accept the result from the congress due to an existing court order restraining the commission from recognising any result from the three-man ad-hoc delegates election in the state.
INEC had voided the three-man ad hoc delegates congress of the PDP in the state, which was held on April 30.
The commission explained that its decision was based on their observations that the exercise did not comply with the relevant laws and guidelines on the conduct of the congress.
It said while some party officials claimed to have reached a consensus to elect the delegates; the process adopted by the party violated the Electoral Act.
“When parties have agreed to adopt a consensus method, proper congress should be held to affirm the chosen candidates or delegates in a free, fair and credible process,” Francis Ezeonu, the state resident electoral commissioner, said, in a report on the Imo PDP three-man ward congress delegate.
Mr Ezeonu, in the eight-page report, also listed the observations of the commission in each of the 27 local council areas of the state during the botched exercise.