The Independent National Electoral Commission has said the former Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, is the authentic presidential candidate of Labour Party.
INEC commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, said this on Thursday.
Recall that Obi won the LP presidential primary, which took place on May 30 in Asaba, Delta State.
The presidential primary that produced Obi was conducted by the Julius Abure-led faction of the party.
But on Wednesday, a former chairman of LP in Anambra, Jude Ezenwafor, was declared the winner of a presidential primary organised by the Calistus Okafor-led faction.
Prior to Obi winning the primary, Okafor, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1636/2021, and filed before a federal high court in Abuja, challenged the legality of the Abure-led faction.
In a ruling on May 30, Justice Inyang Ekwo, ordered that the LP and some of its executives be served with a fresh suit challenging the party’s leadership, after which the matter was adjourned till June 30 for further mention.
In an interview with journalists on Thursday, Okoye said the electoral umpire only recognised the presidential primary that produced Obi as the LP’s presidential candidate.
Okoye noted that the Abure-led LP complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 on conducting party primary, saying the election that produced Obi was monitored by INEC.
He said, “From the records of the commission, the national chairman of Labour Party is one Julius Abure. The same Abure gave the commission the 21 days statutory notice required for the conduct of party primary. In other words, no political parties can conduct party primaries without giving the Independent National Electoral Commission the statutory 21 days notice.
“It was the same Abure that gave the commission the date for the conduct of their presidential primary which was slated to take place in Asaba.
“The commission also monitored this presidential primary in Asaba which took place on May 30, 2022. It was at this presidential primary that Peter Obi was produced as the presidential candidate of Labour Party.
“The commission has given Julius Abure the access code to the candidate nomination portal through which the name of the right presidential candidate will be uploaded into our candidate nomination portal beginning from tomorrow.
“So, as far as the commission is concerned, there is no faction in Labour Party as the commission did not monitor any other presidential primary other than the one organised by the one Labour Party under the leadership of Julius Abure which took place in Asaba on May 30, 2022.”