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Monday, 30 November 2015

Wada Lambaste INEC for Doing Hatchet Job on Kogi Poll

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State yesterday accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of carrying out a hatchet job.

He said he should be declared the winner of the November 21 poll because the death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu , has made him candidate with the highest votes cast.
"He said Abubakar’s votes had died with him."
The governor made the claims in a statement  by his Chief Communications Manager, Mr. Phrank Shaibu.
He  said: “Having had more time to study the INEC’s decision; I was left with no choice but to conclude that the commission embarked on a hatchet’s job”.
He said: “My conclusion was reinforced by the fact that ‘whatever votes Audu scored in the election died with him. INEC simply overreached itself, and I wonder why a body established to be the custodian of the rule of law would ignore the fundamentals of the rule of law in arriving at the decision not to issue him a certificate of return.”
Wada faulted INEC’s argument that APC’s right to substitution was sustained by the Electoral Act.
He said the electoral body should know that it is for the court, not the Commission, to determine which course of action is effective or not.
”In arriving at a decision, INEC merely carried out the directives of the Attorney-General of the Federation. The AGF was not competent to issue directives to INEC to allow APC to substitute its candidate for the Kogi governorship poll and that such directives were null and void for its inconsistency with the provisions of the constitution.
’’To us as a party, the most egregious of the faux pas committed by INEC is  asking the APC to  lawfully nominate a candidate for the supplementary governorship election without a valid and legally cognisable primary election of the party conducted within the mandatory timeliness specified by the Electoral Act.
”It is our considered opinion that, INEC, more than any other body, ought to know that having regards to the provisions of Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, votes scored by a candidate who died during an election cannot be inherited by or transferred to a person who was not a candidate at the said election and who did not participate in all stages of such election, for the purpose of concluding such election, “ Shaibu said.
He said it was on the strength of the position of the Electoral Act on the developments in Kogi State that he has asked the court to compel the INEC to issue him with a certificate of return.
The statement said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was “hopeful that the court will issue an order of injunction restraining APC from organising or holding a fresh primary election for the purpose of any supplementary election having regard to the immutable statutory timelines provided by enabling sections of the Electoral Act 2010 and the INEC timetable for Kogi governorship election.

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