The leadership of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) said it has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Supreme Court in respect of it “unlawful” exclusion from the November 16th, 2019 governorship elections held in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
National chairman of the party, Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, who spoke during an interview with newsmen in Abuja Thursday said his party fully complied with the election timetable issued by the electoral umpire by conducting it’s governorship primaries in Lokoja and Yenagoa respectfully on the 5th of September, 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the INEC and also met all other requirements but was “unlawfully excluded from the ballot.
Both Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal had earlier dismissed the ACPN’s case but its national chairman said the party not pleased with the judgements of the lower Courts.
“We are not pleased with the judgements of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal on the matter and ultimately in the Supreme Court for the proper interpretation of the the law if the ACPN can unlawfully be denied participation in an election where all conditions have been met. And we are sure of winning at the supreme Court.
“The matter is now at the Supreme Court of Nigeria against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in respect of the unlawful denial of the ACPN from participating in the November 16th, 2019 governorship elections held in Kogi State and Bayelsa state.
“The ACPN complied fully with the election timetable issued by the Electoral umpire by conducting it’s governorship primaries in Lokoja and Yenagoa respectfully on the 5th of September, 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the INEC wherein candidates of the party for the two elections emerged. There was also evidence confirmed by the INEC to the effect that our Party, the ACPN fulfilled all righteousness as far as the elections were concerned.
“To our consternation however, we were unlawfully denied the opportunity to file the nomination papers of our candidates by INEC on the ground that we did not arrived INEC Headquarters for filling of necessary forms before 6pm on the 9th of September, 2019. This did not go down well with us because the INEC did not issue any official correspondence with our Party, the ACPN, that a crucial political exercise that we have invested so much energy and resources and was supposed to end by 11.59pm on the 9th of September, 2019 was unlawfully stopped by the at 6pm.
“Going by the timetable issued and delivered to the ACPN Headquarters by the INEC, we are still within the limit of the time given to political parties to file nomination on the 9th of September, 2019. Similarly, S. 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) gave political parties sixty (60) days to election with which to file nomination of candidates which day ended on the 15th of September, 2019.
“The provisions of the Electoral Act gave our Party the latitude to submit names of candidates that are already known to INEC having participated in the nomination exercise.
“Sequel to this unjustifiable actions of INEC, the ACPN is asking Court to enforce our rights to participate in the November 16th governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and to declare all actions of the INEC in the said elections null and void and of no consequence. The reactions of the ACPN in the circumstance is to strengthen the institutions of democracy which has come to stay in the our country.”