Idowu Olakunle, Abeokuta
Relief has came the way of all the candidates of the Labour Party in Ogun state eyeing the national and State Assembly positions as a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to list their names for the 2023 elections.
Recall that INEC, had failed to list the candidates of Labour Party for the National and State Assembly seats, arguing that the party failed to submit any name for the 26 House Assembly seats in the state.
The presiding judge, Justice Aluko, in his ruling explained that the Electoral Act, 2022 was superior to INEC guidelines on elections.
“Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022 allows parties to still submit names of candidates that emerge from substitution primaries not later than 90 days before the election.” Aluko said
He said that the electoral umpire, by its own manuals, could not limit the time provided for by the Electoral Act .
The commission had given July 15 for the submission of the list of candidates for the presidential and National Assembly elections and Aug. 12 for candidates for governorship and states House of Assembly polls
He said that the electoral umpire, by its own manuals, cannot limit the time provided for by the Electoral Act.
Labour Party had sued INEC as sole respondent in the suit.
In the matter filed by their Counsel Monday Mawah, LP, the applicants had prayed the court to make an order directing INEC to allow the party to list all the names of all applicants for 2023 State and national assembly elections.
They urged the court to declare that by virtue of Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC had no power to reject the names of its candidates.