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NCP Berates Ambode Over ‘Stay Of Execution’ Appeal On Council Poll

Ambode

Ambode

THE National Conscience Party (NCP) has faulted the Lagos State government’s appeal against the ruling of a High Court, which ordered the State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct local government election in the state within 30 days, describing it as a gimmick by the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration to kill time.
 
The party disclosed that for government to declare stay of execution on the judgment showed they are unserious, noting, “it would prosecute the matter to a logical end.”
 
Recall that Justice Abdulfatai Lawal of the Lagos High Court, on October 23, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by NCP against the state and LASIEC, ordered for council election to hold within 30 days. He also ordered the dismantling of the caretaker committees, declaring such system as illegal and unconstitutional.
 
The case was instituted by the party in January 2014, to challenge the appointment of caretaker committees to run the affairs of the local governments and sought an order of mandamus to direct the
electoral umpire to conduct election into the councils.
   
The National Secretary of NCP, Comrade Ayodele Akele, who spoke with The Guardian said; “the worst thing they can do is to delay and we are going to expose them to hold local government election in the state and also that the appointment of caretaker committee members is an aberration in the constitution. All their allegations are baseless, we have responded to the appeal and stay of execution.”
 
He noted that it is unbelievable that APC that is canvassing against impunity, abuse and orderliness can contest a court judgment mandating it to conduct local government election.
   
“What is the difference between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? Even, if this election is to hold, they will manipulate it. It is a tragedy, where is the change from the old order? It is unbelievable, we are waiting for them,” he said.
 
Since the expiration of the tenure of democratically elected council officials on October 29, 2014, almost 14 months after, the councils are still under the control of Executive Secretaries installed by former Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, which according to him, were inaugurated to serve in transitional capacity till the end of March 2015.
 
But till he exited office last May, nothing was said about the poll. Even the new governor, Ambode has not uttered any official statement on the issue, except the appeal instituted against the High Court verdict.
 
The excuse tendered by government and LASIEC was the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to complete the process of compiling voter register on schedule and the need for the delineation of more polling units, which they claimed must be properly done before election can hold.
 
For months now, opposition parties, politicians and the public have been criticising this development, demanding that the electoral body should put its house in order and fix a date for fresh local government election, which is long overdue.
 
They, however, rue the main opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Conference of Political Parties (CNPP), for not being proactive in the agitation for the conduct of council election in the state.
 
The hearing on the application has been fixed for January 18, 2016.

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