Thursday, 17 December 2015

Southern Ijaw: 12 Royal Fathers Drag INEC To Court

Twelve traditional rulers in Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa state have sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice over alleged disenfranchisement during the governorship poll in the area.

The plaintiff acting on behalf of the royal fathers in a notice of motion described their exclusion as unconstitutional and a breach of right.

According to them, the INEC failed in providing relevant election materials that were necessary for conducting free, fair and credible election in the area.

According to The Sun, the plaintiff asked the court to declare: “That he, as a duly registered voter in ward 12, polling unit 11 (Alegbebiri, Tamakunu Primary school) in Eniwari community, Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state has a right to vote in the state gubernatorial elections, initially slated for December 5 and later rescheduled for December 6”.

The plaintiff also prayed the court for an order directing the INEC to ensure that voting materials are made available at the applicant’s polling unit.

“A declaration that the 1st respondent has a duty to make electoral materials available in the applicant’s polling unit 11 for the yet to be rescheduled Bayelsa governorship election.

“A declaration that the 2nd respondent has a duty to ensure that the applicant exercises his right to vote in an environment that is devoid of violence and insecurity.”

Meanwhile, the INEC has scheduled the rerun poll for Southern Ijaw local council for Saturday, January 9, 2016.

According to sources within the commission, the tentative date seems to be widely acceptable to all the participants in the election.