PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL: January 31st, 2023
AMUWO ODOFIN : AGAIN INEC FAILS TO PUBLISH LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATE NAME ON WEBSITE AS IT ISSUES A DISCLAIMER
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has disclaimed a report that it released a fresh “final list” of presidential and National Assembly candidates, urging the public to discountenance the report.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, issued the disclaimer Monday in Abuja.
A national newspaper had on Monday reported that the commission on Sunday published the final list of candidates for the election but the electoral body has said all political parties have been formally notified of activities and aside the last list published on their site in November 10th, 2022, no other list is to be published before the due dates for the 2023 general elections.
Push News 24 International had reported earlier that the first list published by the electoral body and uploaded on the commissions website did not feature the name of the Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency Labour Candidate, Mr George Adegeye, likewise the list published on the 10th November 2022, in pursuant to obeying Court Orders did not also capture the name of the Amuw Odofin Federal Constituency Labour Candidate.
INEC issuing a disclaimer has put to rest the hope of any further release as elections are less than 23 days.
Labour Party in Amuwo Odofin have made several claims and publications affirming its Candidate Mr George Adegeye as the authentic candidate brandishing a Court order to the effect but the electoral body appears unperturbed leaving the populace to seek more information.
Push News 24 International seeks to enquire – Can the Commission on its own disqualify a candidate or forcefully remove the name of any candidate nominated by a political party?
“Who determines the validity or otherwise of party primaries?”
” Is the Commission constitutionally and legally permitted to reject the list and personal particulars submitted by political parties?”
These are the germane issues and a clear understanding and resolution of the issues requires an examination of the powers of the Commission in relation to the conduct of Congresses, Conventions and Primaries by Political Parties.
Push News 24 International findings reveals that political party primaries and the nomination of candidates for various elective positions are governed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, the Regulations, Guidelines and Manuals of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as the constitutions, rules and regulations of the different political parties.
In carrying out its regulatory activities, it is constitutionally and legally imperative that the regulatory body must remain impartial, above board and act within the confines and ambit of the constitution and the law both in its monitoring activities and application of the law. Fidelity to the electoral legal framework is paramount in constitutional democracies founded as they are, on the rule of law and due process.
Therefore, an Electoral Management Body and in this particular instance the Independent National Electoral Commission must, on no account, much less on the basis of perceived infractions of the law by candidates and political parties, seek to exercise the powers donated to other agencies or organs of government by the constitution and the law.
Basically, the Constitution as well as the Electoral Act have assigned and delineated the powers of the Commission in the conduct of party primaries and the nomination of candidates. The roles assigned to the Commission are limited as the conduct of party primaries is basically and fundamentally within the domestic realm of political parties subject to their observing the tenets of the Constitution and the law. In other words, the law expects political parties to be democratic and act democratically in the conduct of their Congresses, Conventions, Meetings and Primaries.
The Constitution and the law expects and obligates political parties to abide by and respect their own rules, procedures and guidelines in the conduct of their primaries and nomination of candidates. The law and the Constitution does not permit the electoral management body to micromanage them. The law only mandates the Commission to monitor the conduct of the congresses, conventions, meetings and primaries, and to ensure that their activities are conducted in accordance with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission as well as the constitutive legal instruments guiding and regulating elections.
Meanwhile, Party Chair, Ebele Nwuzor, in a statement: ‘No Controversy: George Adegeye is Labour Party candidate for Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency’, said no blackmail by Ejike Metu, will debar Adegeye’s victory.
Nwuzor cited a judgment which affirmed Adegeye as the flag bearer, stressing the party, armed by this legal backing, will ensure Adegeye’s victory.
The statement reads: “It is expedient to inform the public, and electorate in Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency, on the action of some persons in Labour Party in Amuwo Odofin to misinform them about the party’s candidate for the constituency seat.
As it is the Labour Party in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency have continued to campaign and promote it’s House of Representatives Candidate, Mr George Adegeye regardless of the actions or in actions of the electoral umpire with the firm conviction that its Candidate will be listed on the ballot paper come February 25th, 2023.