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PPC to sue INEC for disqualifying its candidate

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• It was a self-inflicted injury, commission replies

Providence People’s Congress (PPC) has threatened to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for disqualifying its governorship candidate.The PPC National Chairman, Mr. Benson Adetona stated this yesterday when he addressed journalists in Ado-Ekiti.

According to him, INEC expunged the name of its candidate, Pastor Stephen Obasola from the list of contestants in the election.He explained that the party, on May 14, submitted forms CF01 and CF02 to INEC in Abuja, in compliance with the commission’s guidelines.He expressed concern that the party would have to be punished unjustifiably, even when it submitted the candidate’s name earlier than the May 15 deadline stipulated by INEC. He said Obasola emerged through primaries supervised by INEC at the party’s secretariat at Okesa area in Ado-Ekiti.

Adetona accused an unnamed official in the office of the INEC’s National Chairman, Prof Mahmod Yakubu, of playing pranks on the party.He accused him of rejecting the forms earlier listed, on flimsy excuses that forms EC4, EC5 and EC6 were not attached to them.He said it was obvious that INEC was not ready to correct the anomaly that the PPC stated in a petition it sent to it.

The chairman added: “The fact that its candidate’s name was listed by INEC as one of the 40 contenders that were acknowledged from the Ekiti office of INEC, showed that PPC’s primaries were free, fair and credible.“We view this action as a serious infringement on our fundamental right to have a candidate in Ekiti election. And this is a setback to our electoral system. Election can only be deemed to be free and fair, when INEC is fair to all parties,” he said.

Reacting to the party’s allegation, INEC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin, absolved the commission of any blame. He described the whole scenario, as a self-inflicted injury.

According to him: “Submission of candidates is done by the party, so PPC executive should be blamed for submitting the name of its candidate late. “I want to believe that INEC as an arbiter can’t disqualify candidate without justifiable reason. PPC must look inward to settle its problems.


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Benson AdetonaINEC
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