The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday evening shocked Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State by listing Jimoh Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26, 2016 election in the state.
The choice of the controversial businessman over Mr. Mimiko's choice, Eyitayo Jegede, reportedly came as a shock to the governor’s camp, an aide close to Mr. Mimiko told a correspondent of SaharaReporters.
Mr. Mimiko belongs to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party. The faction held a primary and adopted Mr. Jegede as its governorship.
However, Mr. Ibrahim, who belongs to a faction of the party led by former Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, emerged the governorship choice of his group.
Both camps had obtained conflicting court orders and judgments declaring their candidate as the PDP’s legitimate candidate. Each faction had served court orders on INEC in a bid to have their governorship candidate listed as the official flag bearer in electoral documents.
A source at INEC told SaharaReporters this evening that electoral officials decided to pick Mr. Ibrahim as the PDP’s official candidate following a long meeting and what the source described as “sound legal advice from our [INEC] lawyers.”
Rotimi Akeredolu remains the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Olusola Oke, who defected from the APC after its rancorous primary, has emerged as the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Mr. Ibrahim rose to prominence during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Despite his stupendous fortune, he has been sued in the US and Nigeria for a series of business-related debts and other sharp practices.