The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday said it would comply with the court judgment ordering it to include the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Natasha Akpoti, in the ballot for Kogi governorship election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Justice Folashade Ogunbiyi-Giwa of the Federal High Court Abuja, in her judgment on a suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/1129/2019 has ordered INEC to include the party and its candidate in the November 16, governorship election in the State.
Okoye also confirmed to NAN that the order would not affect the scheduled date for the conduct of the election.
The Court did not compel the commission to postpone the election. The Court ordered the Commission to put the Party on the ballot and we will comply,” Okoye said.
He, however, said that the commission had a duty and responsibility to appeal against the judgment given its far-reaching constitutional and legal implications.
The Commission has consistently maintained that it will obey all Orders and Judgments from Courts of competent jurisdiction whether it agrees or disagrees with such judgments.
“However, the commission has a duty and responsibility to appeal against this judgment given its far-reaching constitutional and legal implications on the constitutional and regulatory powers of the commission.
“The reasoning, context and tenor of the judgement will have far-reaching negative consequences on the electoral process and will further deepen impunity in the political and electoral processes,’’ he said.
Okoye said that INEC insisted that the constitution and the law vests the commission with the power to make a determination on the validity of documents submitted by political parties relating to candidates they propose to sponsor for elective positions.
“Such candidates also depose to an affidavit affirming that they have satisfied all constitutional stipulations relating to qualification for the Office of Governor.