74 political parties sue commission, seek cancellation of the election

The Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) has disclosed that it will not recognise All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship candidates in Oshimili South and Aniocha South councils in the March 6, 2021, local government election.

Commissioner of DSIEC, Frederick Ulakpa, however, revealed that no fewer than 14 political parties were ready to participate in the poll.

He told The Guardian in Asaba yesterday that the commission had successfully screened all the chairmanship and councillorship candidates forwarded to it by the party leadership, but “we will not recognise any political party that has gone to court to challenge their candidature due to alleged imposition or substitution.”

He stated this while reacting to the court summons by a faction of APC in the councils over alleged unlawful substitution, insisting that it would not recognise any of the party’s candidate in Oshimili South and Aniocha South because the matter was in court.

BESIDES, the Oshimili South APC crisis had worsened as party members have accused the State Caretaker Committee Chairman, Jones Erue, and an aide to the Deputy Senate President, of compromise in the alleged unlawful substitution of the chairmanship Candidate of the party in the March 6, 2021 council election.

A chieftain of the party, Dr. Obi Essumai, said the Oshimili South APC followed due process in the conduct of the primary election, which produced Eugene Umunna as its chairmanship candidate for the poll.

“Umunna emerged as the candidate at a primary election conducted at the council’s party secretariat and was presented with DSIEC forms 001 and 002 by Chairman, Delta North Caretaker Committee, Chief George Okafor.

“But at DSIEC headquarters, Phillip Chike Juluga’s name was published as a candidate for Oshimili South, instead of Umunna. We learned it was the state chairman who presented his (Juluga’s) name to DSIEC,” he said.

MEANWHILE, no fewer than 74 political parties have sued DSIEC at the Federal High court sitting in Asaba, seeking an order to restrain the commission from conducting the council poll over the alleged unlawful exclusion of parties from the ballot.