The Independent Nationwide Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday mentioned it could complied with the court judgment ordering it to incorporate the Social Democratic Occasion (SDP) and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti, within the ballot for Kogi governorship election…
INEC Nationwide Commissioner and Chairman, Info and Voter Schooling Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Justice Folashade Ogunbiyi-Giwa of the Federal Excessive Court Abuja, in her judgment on a suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/1129/2019 has ordered INEC to incorporate the party and its candidate within the Nov. 16, governorship election within the state.
Okoye additionally confirmed to newsmen that the order wouldn’t have an effect on the scheduled date for the conduct of the election.
The Court didn’t compel the fee to postpone the election. The Court ordered the Commission to place the Occasion on the ballot and we’ll comply,” Okoye mentioned.
He, nonetheless, mentioned that the fee had an obligation and accountability to attraction against the judgment given its far-reaching constitutional and authorized implications.
“The Commission has constantly maintained that it’ll obey all Orders and Judgments from Courts of competent jurisdiction whether or not it agrees or disagrees with such judgments.
“Nonetheless, the fee has an obligation and accountability to attraction against this judgment given its far-reaching constitutional and authorized implications on the constitutional and regulatory powers of the fee.
“The reasoning, context and tenor of the judgement could have far-reaching destructive penalties on the electoral course of and can additional deepen impunity within the political and electoral processes,’’ he mentioned.
Okoye mentioned that INEC insisted that the structure and the legislation vests the fee with the ability to make a dedication on the validity of paperwork submitted by political events regarding candidates they suggest to sponsor for elective positions.
“Such candidates additionally depose to an affidavit affirming that they’ve happy all constitutional stipulations regarding qualification for the Workplace of Governor.
“Part 31(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) obligates Political Events to submit the names of “proposed candidates” to the Commission whereas the proviso to part 31(1) precludes the Commission from rejecting the names of duly nominated candidates and never the names of proposed candidates.”
He mentioned that INEC didn’t disqualify any duly nominated candidate; it solely duly notified a few of the political events of the invalidity of their proposed candidates.
“Our understanding of the structure and the legislation is that duly nominated candidates are people who fulfill the constitutional threshold in part 177 of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The proposed nominees have to be Nigerians by beginning, should attain the age of 35, have to be members of a political party and sponsored by the party and should have been educated as much as school certificates stage or its equal.”
If a Political Occasion nominates a Chinese language as its governorship candidate, the fee can not cover its head within the mud however should declare such nomination as invalid.
“If a political party nominates an toddler as its governorship candidate, the fee has a constitutional accountability to declare such a nomination as invalid.
“It’s incongruous and flies within the face of constitutional and authorized stipulations to insist that the fee should first strategy the courts to implement its regulatory powers,’’ he mentioned.
The commissioner mentioned that INEC and the nation would face monumental constitutional crises if the fee should strategy the Courts earlier than exercising its regulatory powers within the immovable constitutional timelines and schedules for the conduct of elections.
“The framers of the Nigerian Structure and the legislation are conscious that the fee could also be confronted with the challenge of invalid nominations.
“That’s the reason part 38 of the Electoral Act gives that the place on the shut of nomination there is no such thing as a candidate validly nominated, the fee shall lengthen the time for nomination and repair a brand new date for the elections”.
“It’s in the identical vein that the Electoral Act gives that an account shall not be taken of the signature of an individual on a nomination paper the place the candidate had died, withdrawn or the nomination paper was held invalid,’’ he defined.
He emphasised that the Commission insisted that it didn’t disqualify any candidate from contesting the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections.
Okoye mentioned that the fee solely insisted on the invalidity of a few of the nominations primarily based on the qualifying threshold in Part 177 of the 1999 Structure.
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