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INEC technically disqualifies Atiku

Posted by By TOPE ADEBOBOYE on 2007/02/13 | Views: 816 |

INEC technically disqualifies Atiku


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that Vice President Atiku Abubakar may not participate in the April polls unless cleared by the courts.

ēAsks AC to replace him

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that Vice President Atiku Abubakar may not participate in the April polls unless cleared by the courts.

INECís statement came just as the Action Congress (AC) warned the electoral body of clear dangers to the nationís democracy if Atiku was prevented from flying the partyís flag at the polls.

INECís spokesman, Mr. Andy Ezeani on Monday said the electoral body had advised the AC to pick someone else as its presidential standard bearer before the February 28 deadline to political parties to submit names of their presidential candidates.

The statement said that INEC had written to several parties, offering similar advice about other candidates who had also not been cleared.

The INEC spokesman was quoted as saying that the commission was not taking sides or disqualifying anybody on political grounds, but strictly trying to adhere to the constitution, which stipulates the criteria for candidates.

Meanwhile, the Action Congress, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, warned INEC of endangering the nationís democracy if Atiku was frustrated out of the presidential race.

According to the party, INECís decision to stay action on Atikuís clearance purportedly because of a pending court case was a subterfuge move to edge out the vice president.
"INEC knows very well that the court cannot rule on the pending case before the final deadline for the submission of candidatesí names, but has insisted on staying action on the VPís so-called clearance so that once the deadline lapses, it will then turn around to say it was too late to put the VPís name on the ballot .

"As we have said many times, the truth is that INEC lacked the power to bar any candidate, but the commission, which is aware of this limitation, seems to have found another way to dance to the tune of the PDP and the presidency: Just quietly wait for the deadline to pass without expressly announcing it had disqualified the VP," the statement said.

The party noted that the report of the so-called panels that indicted the vice president had been discarded by two courts just as a federal court had ruled that the Code of Conduct Bureau lacked the powers to try the vice president.
According to the party, the argument that Atiku could not benefit from the judgments of the courts since he was not a party to them was shallow.

"It does not make sense for Otunba Oyewole Fasawe and Umar Pariya, who were also both indicted by the kangaroo panel to benefit from the judgments and the VP would not," the party said, urging INEC to steer clear of getting bogged down in a political quagmire that would question its credibility.
"If INEC allows itself to be used by those seeking to truncate this democracy, the commission would have succeeded in writing its name boldly in the black book of history," the AC further said.

Atiku also on Monday said that the INEC was blackmailing him in order to frustrate him out of the polls. Media consultant to the vice president, Malam Shehu Garba, told the Voice of America (VOA) that the electoral body was acting out the script of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is determined to prevent Atiku from running.

"Now the Independent National Electoral Commission has no power under the constitution to prevent or to ban any candidate from running in any election. What is playing out is blackmail on the vice president," Garba stated.

Noting that the electoral body had refused to process documents presented by Atikuís campaign team, Garba said: "What they are saying is, because the vice president has challenged in court the power of INEC to screen candidates, to verify candidates or to disqualify, they are saying, Ďwell, Mr Vice President, since you have gone to court challenging our power to screen any candidate, we will not screen you, you are on your own.í Now thatís a blackmail," Garba said.

The vice presidentís spokesman, however, maintained that the lingering controversy over Atikuís candidature in the forthcoming polls would not have any negative effect on his campaign.

"Absolutely no, because as I speak to you now, even this matter of his contest or the power of INEC screening is before a judge. And this is a matter that would be resolved in the coming week or two. So nothing, absolutely nothing stands in the way of the vice president because he has actually won all of his court cases," he said.

Noting that the Federal Government and INEC were desperate to frustrate Atikuís presidential ambitions, Garba, however, stated that Atiku would emerge victorious.
"The vice-president has no problem. He is a law abiding citizen and he believes in the due process of the law," Garba stated, adding that the vice president would never be distracted," Garuba said.
He said that the vice presidentís campaign was on course, insisting that Atiku had the support of most Nigerians.

Said he: "We have done two major rallies Ė No rally by any candidate so far in the coming elections has attracted as much crowd. So the vice president is being listened to. Heís being eagerly awaited by Nigerian voters. They want to get his message."


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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your ‚Äúevening life is better than evening life‚ÄĚ?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.