Fayose faults INEC’s decision on Kogi election
GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has faulted the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Kogi State governorship election, accusing the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of influencing the commission’s move to proceed with the supplementary election on December 5.
He said the advice of the minister, which INEC adopted to allow the All Progressives Congress (APC) to substitute its candidate for the supplementary poll following the death of its, Prince Abubakar Audu, last Sunday amounted to an amendment of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor, who vowed to use all legal means to fight the “kangaroo” decision, noted that “only the Supreme Court can resolve issues not envisaged by the Constitution like the one that happened concerning the Kogi State governorship election.”
The exercise which held last Saturday was declared inconclusive by the electoral umpire.
Fayose, however, noted that “INEC further exposed its partisanship and undependability by relying on legal advice from the AGF, a man who has disobeyed the court severally and an interested party in the Kogi State election being a personal lawyer of President Buhari and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
The governor, who said only two options were available to INEC on the impasse, noted that: “INEC should either conclude the election with APC not having a candidate or hold a fresh election with APC nominating a new governorship candidate. Anything outside these two options will mean that the Supreme Court must intervene.”
“Section 33 of the Electoral Act only provided for substitution of a dead candidate before the election, not during the election. Also, the running mate would have become the governor-elect if the governorship candidate had been duly elected before he died. But in this instant case, the election was still in progress, meaning that Audu was a candidate like others when he died.
“Therefore, what INEC has done will mean that votes have now become an inheritance that the late APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, has willed to whoever that emerges as his substitute.
“It is like saying that Audu’s votes in the inconclusive election will now be inherited by another person. How logical is that?
“In a democracy, how can the Attorney General of the Federation and INEC turn themselves to the National Assembly that amends laws and the judiciary that interprets laws?” he queried.