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Labour Party drags INEC, APC to tribunal over exclusion , seeks nullification of Ogun Governorship election

By Daud Olatunji
The Labour Party in Ogun state has dragged the All Progressives Congress ; it’s Candidate ; Dapo Abiodun ; the state Resident Electoral Commissioner ,AbdulGaniy Raji and the Independent National Electoral Commission before the Election Petition Tribunal for alleged exclusion of it’s party logo, name, and symbol on the ballot papers during the March 9,Governorship election .

An All Progressives Congress Party (APC) supporter waves a party flag while celebrating initial results released by the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano, on February 25, 2019, two days after general elections. – Nigeria’s main opposition on February 25 accused the ruling party of trying to rig presidential elections, as the incumbent made early gains but monitors voiced concern about polling day problems, including dozens of deaths. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari of colluding with the electoral commission in an attempt to “manipulate the results”. (Photo AFP)

The Labour Party in the petition filed by the Secretary of the party in the state , Sunday Oginni asked the Election Petition Tribunal in the state to nullify the election in the state .

The INEC had declared Abiodun winner of the Governorship election , having polled the highest number of votes in the election .

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In the petition, the APC ; it’s Candidate ; REC and the INEC are the first ,second ,third and fourth respondents while the Labour Party and it’s Governorship candidate , Modupe Sanyaolu are the first and second petitioners.

In the petition marked EPP/06/GOV/02/2019 which was reportedly filed on Monday , the petitioners prayed the tribunal to order the withdrawal of the certificate of return issued to Abiodun.

Oginni in the suit with two other members also prayed the tribunal to order the INEC to conduct a fresh election within 21 days of its decision and include it’s logo and symbol .

Explaining the grounds for the reliefs , the petitioners complained that both third and fourth respondents (REC and INEC ) unlawfully excluded it’s name , logo and symbol on the ballot papers during the Governoship election .

The petitioners claimed that, the action has deprived it’s Governorship candidate, an opportunity to participate in the election and win .

The petition reads , ” That second petitioner was confident of winning the Governorship election held on 9th March,2019 being the only female Governorship candidate among all the candidates that stood for the Governorship election and also contesting on the platform of the first petitioner being the party of the masses ;the labour force ,civil servant ,artisans and families in Ogun state .

“That the first and second petitioners would have won and declared as the winner(s) of the Governorship election held on 9th March ,2019 if the logo and symbol of the petitioner were included in the ballot papers .

“The second petitioner was duly screened and cleared to contest the Governorship election conducted by the fourth respondent, but, was deliberately and unlawfully excluded from the Governorship election in which the second respondent was undully returned.

“The petitioners state that the second respondent was not duly elected and /or duly returned as the winner of the election conducted on 9th March ,2019 by third and fourth into the Governorship seat of Ogun state, having failed to include the logo and symbol of the first petitioner in the ballot papers used for conducting the Governorship polls held on March 9,2019.

“The petitioner states that the second respondent was wrongly declared the winner of the said election and the candidate of the first respondent was unduly and wrongfully returned by the third and fourth respondents as Governor-elect of Ogun state .

“By extention , the first and second petitioners were shut out from participating in the Governorship election held on 9th March ,2019”.

Meanwhile, , in the motion ex – parte filed by Oginni and others , they prayed the tribunal to order the INEC to produce and grant it access to all documents used for the Governorship election in the state for inspection .

They also asked the tribunal to order the INEC to allow it inspect all documents used in the Governorship election of the state held on March 9,2019 ,particularly the Governorship ballot papers .

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