There have been accusations and counter accusations over a lawsuit that challenged the validity of the conduct of the Imo North senatorial primary of the Imo state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held by the Charles Ugwu led leadership that produced Emmanuel Okewulonu as the winner of the primary.
It was gathered in Owerri that the disagreement continued amidst fears that the exercise could be nullified by the court.
This is after one of the senatorial aspirants, Patrick Ndubueze, said he did not participate in the primary election of his party which was held last Saturday and that the exercise amount to contempt of court with about three different lawsuits challenging the processes that led to primary.
In Ndubueze’s response which triggered apprehension among party members said: “Was I there ? Did you see me there. I am not aware of any primary election in PDP because we are already in court. In fact, there are three suits already.
“We are in court because of the modus that led to the election of the delegates. It didn’t follow the procedure of the law. It was at variance with the constitution of the party and the law.
“They just allocated votes to themselves and in order to make it look justifiable, they allocated votes to me, too. There was no primary election because what they did is a court contempt. We leave them with the court.”
This did not go down well with the Ugwu’s leadership which replied through the party’s state publicity Secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike, that, “The attention of the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State has been drawn to the reports on social media, credited to one of its aspirants in the now concluded primaries for the Imo North Senatorial Bye-election, Hon. Patrick Ndubueze, where he claimed that he did not participate in the primaries and that he has filed a suit challenging the process of the primaries. For purpose of clarity the party hereby states as follows:
“That in compliance with the INEC timetable and schedule for the Imo North Senatorial bye-election to be held on the 31st October, 2020, the PDP made a publication wherein it called on all qualified persons who intend to seek the party’s nomination to purchase the appropriate nomination forms.
“That at the end of the exercise two prominent sons of Okigwe Zone, Hon. Patrick Ndubueze C. and Chief Emmanuel Okewulonu purchased the Nomination Forms. They went through the screening processes and were cleared to contest for the party primaries slated for 5th September, 2020.
“That the Engr. Charles Ugwuh-led executive held a meeting with the two aspirants and witnessed by their chosen aides and agents of trust, where they made an undertaking to accept the outcome of the primaries and to be bound by the outcome and to support whoever wins. In return the party leadership made a promise for a hitch-free, fair, and primaries.
“That the primaries held as scheduled on 5th September, 2020 between the two candidates who had gone through all the processes and were cleared to contest at the primaries.
“That Hon. Patrick Ndubueze paid all the necessary fees and participated in the primaries scoring 27 votes against his rival Chief Emmanuel Okewulonu who scored 609 votes to emerge the winner. The party is therefore shocked at his sudden summersault and claim that he did not participate at the primaries.
“That Hon. Patrick Ndubueze even tried to prevail on the party leadership to compel his co-aspirant to withdraw and make way for him to stand alone and be adopted as sole aspirant of the party. However, the Party refused and insisted on giving all aspirants equal opportunity to compete at an open and transparent primary election.
“That the PDP hereby reiterates that the demand of Hon. Ndubueze that he be adopted as the sole candidate of the party amounted to a breach of the Party’s constitution and would engender injustice to the other aspirant especially when he is resolute on contesting.
“That the Party, therefore, finds it strange that Hon. Ndubueze whose attempt to prevail on the party to use same Party delegates to adopt him as its sole candidate, would turn around claiming to be dissatisfied with the processes of the delegate congresses which culminated into the primary election .
“That, however, the Charles Ugwuh-led State Executive has vowed to take all necessary steps to reconcile those who are not happy with the outcome of the primaries, especially now that a winner has emerged.
“That the PDP, Imo State reaffirms its respect for Hon. Patrick Ndubueze and would urge him to accept the call by the PDP flag bearer for the Imo North Senatorial bye-election to join him to move Okigwe zone forward.
“Finally, that the PDP has no record of service of any Court process or suit from Hon. Patrick Ndubueze and cannot comment on something that has not been served on it.