APC in Edo State Faces Anxiety as Court Decides on Gubernatorial Candidacy

APC Crisis in Edo State: Court to Decide as Idahosa Challenges APC Governorship Candidacy

Tensions are rising within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State as the Federal High Court in Abuja is set to begin hearing a suit brought by Dennis Idahosa, who claims to be the rightful APC governorship candidate. Idahosa is adamant that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should only recognize him as the APC candidate, rejecting any other contender.

This development follows a deadlock over plans to bring a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, into the APC as the running mate to Senator Monday Okpebholo.

Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja scheduled the hearing for March 14, 2024, in response to Idahosa’s application. Through his counsel, Bode Olanipekun, SAN of Wole Olanipekun & Co., Idahosa sought the court’s intervention. Justice Omotosho directed the service of the originating processes to Senator Okpebholo, ensuring the delivery to the appropriate offices.

Idahosa’s plea to the court is to declare him the APC candidate for the Edo governorship election. He argues that Senator Okpebholo’s declaration as the winner, with only 100 votes compared to Idahosa’s 40,453 votes during the February 17, 2024 primaries, violates the Electoral Act, APC’s constitution, and the guidelines for primary elections.

Amidst these legal battles, plans to make Ogbeide-Ihama the running mate to Okpebholo have encountered obstacles. Some leaders from both the APC and PDP in the South-South region championed this move, but supporters of Idahosa are adamant that he is the rightful candidate.

After a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, where APC leaders deliberated on the issue, it was reported that Senator Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s leader, left for the Presidential villa. However, updates on the situation following this meeting are yet to be confirmed.

In a related development, leaders of the APC from Edo South, who initially withdrew from the primary but later supported Okpebholo, are now threatening to withdraw from party activities and hold a press conference if Idahosa is declared the candidate.

The APC crisis in Edo State has escalated into a legal battle and internal rifts, posing significant challenges as the party prepares for the governorship election. The outcome of the court hearing will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the APC’s candidacy in the state.

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