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Kogi Guber poll: Court says INEC wrong for excluding Natasha Akpoti

Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Hadiza Akpoti,
Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Hadiza Akpoti,

The Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday 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.

Justice Folashade Ogunbiyi-Giwa, in a judgment delivered, 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.”

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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. The judge added that the intention of the law was to make INEC a true unbiased umpire.

The judge stressed that section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act specifically stated that INEC shall not for any reason whatsoever disqualify any candidate sponsored by a political party for an election. (NAN)

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