The National Rescue Movement (NRM) has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over alleged unlawful exclusion of its candidate, Mrs Jumoke Lawoyin, from the list of governorship candidates for Saturday election.
The copy of the party’s petition dated Sept. 17 and addressed the INEC Chairman, was signed NRM solicitor, Kayode Ajulo, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
Ajulo requested INEC to within 24-hours of receipt of the letter amend its approved candidates list to include Lawoyin or face legal actions.
He said that his law firm on July 12, 2018 received a brief from NRM that INEC was informed of the conduct of its client’s primaries, sequel to which the commission’s representatives led by Mr Asaolu Ishola were sent to observe and monitor the said primary election, where Lawoyin emerged as the party’s flag bearer.
“However, it is our brief that despite the service of the requisite notice of the primaries on your commission as required by law and your subsequent participation wherein your staff observed the emergence of our client’s candidate for the impending Osun State gubernatorial election, your Commission has negligently, unlawfully, illegally omitted, left out and excluded the name of our client’s candidate from the INEC approved list.
“Our client further informed us that they have exhausted all available mechanisms of communication with your Commission in other to rectify the anomaly, which as explained to them was due to some administrative oversight, which unfortunately has been left unattended, hence, the briefing our Firm to formally take up their complaint with your Commission.
“Our client’s demand take notice that your Commission’s act of omitting, refusing and or neglecting to add our client’s candidate’s name to your approved candidates list for the 2018 Osun State gubernatorial election is unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and ought to be urgently rectified.
“Further notice that considering the peculiarity of this case and the urgency attached thereof, our client requires that you should within 24-Hours of receipt of this letter, cause an amendment to be effected to the approved Osun State gubernatorial candidates list to include our client’s candidate, otherwise, we may be constrained to perfect the brief of our client.
“Perfect the brief of our client by employing all available legal mechanism at our disposal to ensure that our client is not dispossessed of her right to participate in the Osun State gubernatorial Election by this colossal omission.”
Ajulo said that it was trite law that every duly registered political party and candidate enjoys the Constitutional right to vote and be voted for.
“We, therefore, implore you to within the specified period, accede to our client’s demands.
“As we await your prompt response to this letter, please accept the assurances of our highest professional regards,” Ajulo said.
Reacting to the petition the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said that the commission could not exclude any political party or candidate that fulfills the requirements for election.
“It was impossible for INEC to omit or exclude the name of a candidate whose political party duly submitted his or her name within the stipulated period allowed for such exercise from the list of parties taking part in the Osun governorship election.
“There are 48 political parties participating in the Osun governorship election and these were the parties that complied with the regulations and the deadline stipulated.
“Mrs Olawoyin’s party should show evidence that it complied with the regulations and deadlines.
“The Commission cannot exclude any political party or candidate that fulfills those requirements,” Oyekanmi explained.