Despite efforts of the reconciliation committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to appease defeated aspirants at its national convention held 10 days ago, one of the aspirants for the chairmanship post, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, has filed a suit at an Abuja Federal High Court challenging the outcome of the elective convention, which saw the emergence of Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the party.
Adedoja, a former Minister of Youth and Sports, was one of the four chairmanship aspirants who eventually stood for the election after five others withdrew from the race.
He, however, scored no vote at the election.
At a press conference in Abuja Monday, the aspirant said the declaration of a zero score credited to him by PDP had embarrassed and maligned him “and brought great ridicule” to his political career built over 14 years.
Last week, another group led by an aggrieved aspirant for the office of the National Organising Secretary (NOS), Dr. Godwin Duru, also questioned the conduct of the convention and gave the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) a seven-day ultimatum to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC), failing which they would release the “real results” of the convention and form a parallel National Working Committee of the PDP.
While objecting to the result, Duru had said: “The one they have now, which they manipulated, is not the real result. We have our own result, which is the real result that came out of the convention, which they refused to call.
“But when the time comes, after the expiration of the seven days we gave as ultimatum, we will announce the real results.”
In suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1225/2017 filed on Adedoja’s behalf by Messers Rickey Tarfa & Co., the aspirant claimed that his name was wrongly spelt as “Taoheed Oladoja” thereby misleading delegates and robbing him of victory at the convention.
He said when he observed the anomaly, he and his agent reported the error to the relevant officials in charge of the convention but no remedy was made.
Angered by the outcome of the chairmanship election for which he got no vote, he said among his prayers was to declare the election for the post of chairman of the PDP held at the Eagle Square, Abuja on December 9, null and void.
“Pray the court declares as null and void any document submitted by PDP or by the purported occupier of the position of the national chairman to INEC.
“Pray the court for the cancellation of the national chairmanship election held on Saturday, December 9 at the Eagle Square.
“Pray the court to order the conduct of another elective national convention for the election of national chairman within 30 days of nullification of the elective national convention held on December 9,” he said in his prayer to the court
Adedoja further asked the court for an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP on the grounds that the election where Secondus was declared chairman of PDP, he was unlawfully excluded from the list of contestants for the position of chairman of the party.
He held that his exclusion was a flagrant violation of the Electoral Act, the constitution of the PDP, the guidelines for the conduct of the national convention and the Constitution of the country.
He said the defendants in the case, including the chairman of the convention committee of the PDP, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the secretary, and new national chairman, Secondus, had been appropriately served.
“I have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the public ridicule the election result has caused me, my family members, friends and associates.
“My lawyers are demanding for appropriate compensation for damages, ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute brought to my name as a result of my wilful exclusion from participating in the election resulting in the zero score credited to my name which is now in the public domain,” he added.
When asked if he had been contacted by the PDP reconciliation committee headed by the Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, a visibly angry Adedoja said the committee had reached out to him to verify the date they were supposed to meet, but that after giving them a date, they failed to show up.