Friday, 27 November 2015

INEC Must Declare Wada As Winner Of Kogi Polls- PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Idris Wada, its candidate at the last inconclusive Kogi state governorship election as the winner, National Mirror reports.

The opposition party has therefore dragged the federal government, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC, to court over plans to substitute the candidacy of late Abubakar Audu in the election.

The party took this decision after an emergency national caucus meeting in Abuja on Thursday, where the party also argued that the proposed supplementary election would no longer be necessary as APC is not backed by either the constitution or electoral laws to substitute its candidate within the election period.

The caucus says it “Completely rejects the decision of INEC in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mallam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“Insists that with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.

“Insists that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

“Notes that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.”

The opposition also argued that if the ruling party APC is permitted to substitute its original candidate, the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election which it believes is completely alien to the electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice world-over.

The party said: “Caucus observes that APC, fully aware that it has no case before the law is now orchestrating confusion in the polity with a view to diverting attention from its glaring incompetence and failure of governance.

“Observes that the leadership of INEC as presently constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has demonstrated that it is incapable of neutrality and as such cannot be vested with the conduct of the Kogi governorship supplementary election as well as the December 5, 2015 Bayelsa governorship election.

“As a result, caucus demands the immediate resignation of the chairman and all national commissioners of INEC to pave the way for a new nonpartisan commission to conduct the forth-coming elections.”

Crisis had erupted after the Audu was confirmed dead barely 24 hours after performing his civic duty in the state. Although he was said to be leading in the election, INEC declared the election inconclusive, but, it was Audu’s demise that opened up the issues bothering on replacement.

While the PDP is still fuming over the fact that the APC has been asked to produce another candidate for the supplementary election which will take place next month, James Faleke, the running mate of the late Audu, had already written to INEC to declare him the governor-elect in the state.

The Kogi APC has however, refused to agree with that notion, as it has nominated the late Audu’s son to replace his father in the concluding part of the election on December 5, 2015.