The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was wrong to have excluded candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mrs Natasha Akpoti, in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi State.
247kadia reports that the SDP had approached the court to challenge their exclusion from the 2019 Kogi State governorship election by INEC.
Akpoti was said to have been disqualified by INEC for choosing Mohammed Yakubu, whom it described as underage, to be her running mate in the forthcoming election.
Ruling on Thursday, Justice Folashade Ogunbiyi-Giwa, held that INEC had no power to disqualify any candidate for an election “as it is the exclusive reserve of a competent court of law.”
According to the judge, the provisions of sections 31(1) and 83 of the Electoral Act which holds that INEC cannot disqualify or reject candidate nominated by a political party for an election is aimed at ensuring that it does not lie within the executive realms of INEC to determine who participate in an election.
NAN reports that the judge said the intention of the law was to make INEC a true unbiased umpire.
The judge accordingly granted reliefs to seven of the plaintiffs and ordered INEC to include the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the SDP as well as the party’s logo on the ballot in the Nov. 16 poll in the state.