Search Site: OnlineNigeria


VP seat: Supreme Court decides Atikuís fate today

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE, Abuja on 2007/03/29 | Views: 1857 |

VP seat: Supreme Court decides Atikuís fate today

Fears that next monthís general elections may not hold heightened on Wednesday when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that recent developments may after all stall the polls.

ēINEC hints

Fears that next monthís general elections may not hold heightened on Wednesday when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that recent developments may after all stall the polls.
According to the electoral body, "we are losing the game."

In a clear contrast to the position of the INEC chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, who has consistently maintained that under no circumstances would the election be shifted, Federal Commissioner and Chairman of INEC Information and Publicity Committee, Barrister Phillips Umeadi, while briefing newsmen on the commissionís activities, expressed doubt over the likelihood of the election holding owing primarily, to the spate of court judgments against the commission as they relate to listing, for election, names for candidates earlier disqualified.

He said that although the commission would work hard to ensure the election holds as scheduled," the way things are going, at the end of the day, we may be boxed into a situation whereby it would be difficult for election to hold. As I speak to you, most sincerely, we might be boxed into a tight situation if the courts continue to give rulings against us, concerning listing of candidates."

The INEC commissioner, who was reacting to a courtís ruling on Wednesday asking the electoral body to list former Governor Chris Ngige as Alliance for Congress (AC) governorship candidate for Anambra State, wondered what will happen after the INEC might have appealed some of the rulings and loses the cases few days to the elections.

Umeadi said that the commission had already taken deliveries of the ballot papers for the elections and that "the biggest printing machine in the world could only print 1.2 million ballot papers a day, and with 61.5 registered voters, if the court rules that we include names of candidates, like that of Alhaji Atiku at the late hour, what do we do? There will be no end to this issue of candidacy controversies and it appears we are losing the game.

"Donít forget that the National Democratic Party (NDP) is in court seeking to stop the election. What if they get an order in that respect? We just have to obey the order," he stressed.
The INEC commissioner argued that the situation got dicey because the commission has got to obey court orders, though it would appeal those it could and accept those it could not appeal against, adding that the fact that the INEC would be appealing some of the court rulings should not be mistaken to be that it is partial "We remain the umpire that we are," he said.

On the Ngige matter, the INEC boss told the former governor to exercise patience as the commission would appeal the ruling, even though it was yet to receive the judgment.
On the state of preparedness of the commission, Umeadi disclosed that a total of 1,009,374 persons would be needed for the elections, made up of 1642 returning officers appointed mainly from among the INEC staff, with the presidential election having 470 officers; governorship and state Houses of Assembly election having 1026 returning officers.

He explained that the INEC chairman would be the number one returning officer for the presidential elections with 360 INEC staff serving as returning officer for the Federal constituencies elections.
Said he: " There will be 1642 returning officers for the elections. This will be broken down as follows: governorship and House of Assembly 1026, presidential and National Assembly, 470; FCT area council chairmanship and councillorship, 68 and add five percent to it and we have a total of 1642 returning officers for the elections.

This 1026 will be as follows: 36 resident electoral commissioners, they are statutorily returning officers provided by law; six resident commissioners will act as governorship returning officers; 768 electoral officers will serve as state Houses of Assembly returning officers, while there are 222 management staff from the 36 state offices, which is seven per state and we have further broken down the statute because as you will appreciate"

It would be recalled that Professor Iwu had, times without number, boasted that nothing would stop the elections from holding despite the series of court cases instituted by aggrieved candidates, saying it was because of this that his commission would appeal any ruling that tends to disrupt the transition process and the INEC time table.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!