Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Adetokunbo Abiru, from the October 31 Lagos East Senatorial by-election.
The PDP and its candidate in the by-election, Babatunde Gbadamosi, contend that Abiru is not qualified to stand as candidate in the election scheduled to hold in five Local Government Areas of the State, namely Shomolu, Kosofe, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki and Ikorodu.
According to the PDP, Abiru has two Permanent Voters Cards (PVC), which the party said is an electoral offence, adding that Abiru is not a registered voter in the Lagos East Senatorial District.
Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, Media Director/Spokesperson, Gbadamosi Senatorial Campaign, said Gbadamosi and the PDP Lagos chapter already filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on September 29, seeking the disqualification of the APC and its candidate over the infractions.
He said ‘court records will show that indeed on 29th September, 2020, the PDP and its Senatorial Candidate, Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, dragged Abiru, his party, the APC, and the INEC to court. In the suit filled in the Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Lagos Judicial Division Holden at Lagos, the PDP and Gbadamosi are asking for the disqualification of Abiru on at least two counts. One, Mr Abiru has two Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) number: 90F5BO5EEB295604194, and PVC number: 90F5AFEA90418213518; two, Mr Abiru is not registered to vote in the Lagos East Senatorial District. Our evidence for the first case against Mr Abiru can be verified from the Voters Register as it exists on INEC server. For the second case against Abiru, we refer to his letter of 14th August, 2020 to the INEC, requesting a transfer of his address from Road A2 HSE Ago, Carlton Gate Estate, off Chevron Drive, Lekki Lagos, to 38 Oriwu Road, Ita Elewa, Ikorodu Lagos. Mr Abiru’s request was not granted, because as the INEC explained to him, ‘Continuous Voter Registration Exercise is presently suspended’. Clearly, therefore, based on case number one, Mr. Abiru is guilty of identity fraud with two PVCs. Based on case number two, it is clear that Mr Abiru cannot vote in the October 31st Lagos East Senatorial Election. According to the constitution, a citizen who cannot vote cannot be voted for. The case against Mr Abiru is water tight.’
Pearse characterised the APC as a lawless political party that disregards the rule of law.
‘The Lagos State APC, true to its disregard for the rule of law and disrespect for Lagosians, classified the PDP case against its embattled candidate for Senate as false and laughable; there is nothing false about the case. The APC did not do their due diligence before he Abiru imposed on the members of his party, the same way they want to impose him on the people of Lagos East (Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu, Kosofe, Somolu).The practice of forcing bad candidates on the electorate failed last month in Edo State, it will fail in Ondo State on October 10 and it will fail in Lagos at the Lagos East Senatorial by-election. Abiru is not marketable. His reputation is that of a banker. Skye Bank collapsed under his leadership. Today, Polaris Bank customers and shareholders are accusing him of fraud. His customers at the bank have convicted him of Financial misconduct in the court of public opinion. This month, when he appears in court, the court of judicial opinion will certainly indict him of voter fraud. Mr Gbadamosi has no such negatives. He is a successful businessman with a passion to improve the quality of life for the people of Lagos. He is intelligent and resourceful. Gbadamosi emerged candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in a democratic election. He will be the people’s Senator, not a Senator accountable to some godfather,’ the Gbadamosi campaign spokesman said.