Text of a press conference by Prof. Taoheed Adedoja in Abuja on Monday on the December 9 National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is undoubtedly the largest party in Africa. My desire to reposition PDP in view of the challenges the party had which truncated its rulership of Nigeria in the 2015 presidential election informed my expression of interest to lead the Party as its National Chairman for the needed repositioning of the party.
I, therefore, expressed interest in contesting for the national chairmanship of the party as far back as June 2016 and participated in the aborted Port-Harcourt convention of August 2016. I also actively participated in the non-elective convention of the Party held in Abuja on August 12, 2017.
In preparation for the convention where National Officers of the party would be elected, my nationwide rigorous consultations and campaigns lasted for about 16 months.
I undertook extensive campaign tour of different parts of Nigeria peacefully and decently with no case of violence, unfavorable speeches or running down of any other aspirants either by me or by any of my supporters towards the national convention held on December 09, 2017.
I went to the convention for the position of national chairman of the party with the strong belief that the party needed a chairman with wide experience, acceptability across Nigeria, integrity and a man with fresh and innovative ideas with a view to bringing intellectualism to the governance of the party.
Towards achieving this, I paid the necessary nomination fee, obtained and returned the national chairmanship nomination form.
I was invited for screening and subsequently screened with clearance certificate issued to me at a well-attended ceremony at the PDP headquarters in Abuja on Thursday December 07, 2017.
Surprisingly, on the election day of December 09, 2017 my name was deliberately excluded from the list of national chairmanship contestant posted on the ballot boxes/cubicles meant for the election of national chairman of the party, thereby, willfully and unlawfully excluded me from participating in the said election of national chairman of the party that took place on December 09, 2017.
This is in flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended); the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party and the guidelines for the conduct of the 2017 national convention of the party.
My lawyers Messrs Rickey Tarfa & Co. has filed a suit this morning at the Federal High Court in Abuja with suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1225/2017 between Prof. Taoheed Adedoja and (1) Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa (2) Dr. Ibrahim Umar (3) Prince Uche Secondus (4) PDP and (5) INEC, seeking among others:
1. Pray the court to declare the election of national chairman of PDP held at Eagle Square in Abuja on December 09, 2017, null and void
2. Pray the court to declare as null and void any document submitted by PDP or by the purported occupier of the position of the national chairman to INEC;
3. Pray the court for the cancellation of the national chairmanship election held on Saturday December 09, 2017 at Eagle Square Abuja
4. 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 09, 2017
5. Restrain INEC from recognizing Uche Secondus as the National Chairman of PDP on the ground that the election where Uche Secondus was declared national chairman of PDP, where I was unlawfully excluded from the list of the contestants for the position of national chairman of PDP is a flagrant violation of the electoral act, the constitution of PDP, the guidelines for the conduct of PDP national convention, and the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
Having built a political career for 14 years, the declaration of a zero (0) score by PDP credited to me has embarrassed and maligned me and brought great ridicule to my political standing and goodwill nationally and internationally.
Since the announcement of the result, I have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the public ridicule the election result has caused me, my family members, friends, political associates and numerous supporters across the country.
My lawyers are demanding for appropriate compensation for damages, ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute brought to my name as a result of my willful exclusion from participating in the election resulting to zero (0) score credited to my name which is now in public domain.
I was a signatory to the peace accord signed by all chairmanship aspirants to the effect that the outcome of the election will be accepted by all national chairmanship aspirants with the proviso that the election will be free and fair. In this case the election was not free and fair hence seeking redress in the court of law.