Posted by By Ndidi Onuora on
THE Independ-ent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu said it is only the commission that has the mandate to decide who wins election and threatened to go to court if the Anambra State election tribunalís judgement is found wanting just as he said that the commission has no power to de register political parties.
ABUJA - THE Independ-ent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu said it is only the commission that has the mandate to decide who wins election and threatened to go to court if the Anambra State election tribunalís judgement is found wanting just as he said that the commission has no power to de register political parties.
Prof. Iwu who made this known at an interactive session with Guild of Editors at the 2nd All Nigeria Guild of Editors' Conference held in Abuja also stated that there was no court injunction to stop INEC from conducting referendum as it concerns the call for the recall of the Plateau State Speaker, Samuel Lalong.
According to him, " there was no court injunction rather what we were asked to do was to maintain the statuesque and by the constitutional right, we have 90 days to complete the referendum or else we would be infringing on someoneís right."
Speaking on the INEC stand on the Anambra election tribunal judgement which declare Peter Obi of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) winner of the 2003 governorship election conducted in the state Prof. Iwu said the commission's office in Awka received the written judgement last week Friday and therefore was surprised on what has been reported so far on the matter.
According to him, "the election judgement came out while I was away so I was totally baffled because we have not met on the matter and our office in Awka, not Abuja, only yesterday received the written judgement.
So it would be premature for INEC to comment on the issue."
"INEC is not afraid of taking a stand because of what people have been saying however, if after we have gone through the judgment and found out that it is wrong, we would go to court and whatever the court says, we will abide by it," said the INEC boss.
On the adoption of Electronic Voting System (EVS) in the 2007 election, Prof Iwu said it would depend on the pilot project scheme which the commission intends to embark on.
He said the acceptability of the EVS by the populace will determine whether it would be used or not but said those condemning the invention are those who intend to rig in the forthcoming election as the device has 14 blocks which one had to overcome before a successful rigging.
He therefore urged media practitioners to help in educating the masses on freeing their mind from influence of money politics.
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