Groups want Fayemi disqualified from Ekiti governorship race
• I am qualified, he says
• INEC denies plans to re-introduce new polling units
A group, under the aegis of Concerned All Progressives Congress (APC) members, has called on the national leadership of the party to disqualify former Governor Kayode Fayemi over alleged indictment by the Ekiti State government and his refusal to resign as a minister.It said that the APC stands the risk of facing litigations if allegation that Fayemi, who is also the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, eventually wins the state governorship election in July 14.
The group’s Co-coordinator, Dr. Ife Olu-Olubusuyi, who spoke with journalists yesterday, said: “We are concerned and advise that the APC headquarters must adhere strictly to its own rules and disqualifies whoever has not met the minimum conditions for governorship as indicated by the constitution and guidelines.”
Also, another group, Patriots for Better Nigeria (PBN), has said that since Fayemi was alleged of criminal offences and also indicted by a white paper in Ekiti State, he must be barred from contesting any election.
Head, Strategy and Legal Directorate of the group, Chief Olusegun Raji, said this at a press conference in Akure at the weekend.He said: “This unpleasant scenario goes to confirm the general thought of selective justice in the administration of criminal justice under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. We will stop INEC from allowing him to participate in the coming election. No one is above the law.”
Besides, the PBN has raised the alarm that the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, “is really not in charge” of affairs in the commission.Raji, who alleged that the Election and Political Parties Monitor Unit (EMPU) of INEC is fraught with corruption and registering political parties without observing due process.
Meanwhile, Fayemi, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, in his reaction to group’s allegation, said that the APC Concern members were poorly educated about the workings of the party and the Nigerian constitution.
He said: “Dr. Ife has spoken out of ignorance, and they are being mischievous. They are ignorance of the working of the party and the law of the land. You can’t sit down in your house and determine who is going to be disqualified. The party has a machinery to look at every case in its merit and that is why you have the screening committee.
“There is due process of nomination and screening before you even gets to the primary. There is no law in the land that says that a serving minister should vacate his seat before primary.“Talking about white paper, the case is in court and that is why he did not appear before the panel. The white paper will not stand. It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can recommend disqualification of Fayemi.”
However, the INEC has debunked insinuations of plans by the commission to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 general elections.According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC boss, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi yesterday, the allegation is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.He said INEC’s decisions and actions would always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws in line with the commission’s determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.