The Bayelsa State Governorship Primaries has raised several concerns with legal tapestry. My intent is to resolve the topical issues as they affect the Primaries.
Like all Constitutions, members of the PDP have covenanted in Article 2 that the provisions of their Constitution is Supreme and binds them.
The first correction to be made is that what would be held on the 3rd of September, 2019 is not “Primaries” as erroneously called. This is because by Article 67(2)(q) Primaries refers to a Party Executive Congress which is held at the Ward level to nominate a person for elective public office. Primaries gives every member of the Party to participate in the nomination of the candidate.
What the PDP has proposed in Bayelsa State is nomination of the candidate through the State Congress. This is appropriately and correctly referred to as Elective State Congress.
Article 25(1) of the PDP Constitution establishes the State Congress and its composition. Thus, save the three delegates who are elected and added by 25(1)(j) and physically challenged representative, the other members are statutory and the tenure of their membership is infinite or until the vacate that office, if they are members virtui officio
By Article 25(1)(j) & (p) Elected Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors are members or statutory delegates of the State Congress.
It is the business of State Congress to amongst others elect the Governorship candidate of the PDP for the State. However, this is not the only business of the State Congress. They can approve budget, receive reports from Auditors and officers of the Party. This is by Article 25(2).
Thus, the business of the Party determines what it is called. For purposes of 3rd September, what is to be held is an elective State Congress.
When an elective Congress is to be held, the statutory delegates shall be authenticated not later than ninety days before the Congress is held. See Article 8(10). Thus, the list of statutory delegates for the elective State Congress of Bayelsa State are those who are statutory delegates as at 3rd of June, 2019.
Violation of this provision is actionable by dint of Section 83 of the Electoral Act.
I have merely stated the position of the law devoid of support for any of the feuding parties.