…threaten court action

By Ibrahim HassanWuyo

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna state have said that the notice issued by the Overseer of the Kaduna State Independent Elections Commission ( SIECOM ) for the proposed conduct of Local Council election in the state, was unconstitutional and against the law.

This was contained in a communique signed by Dr.John M. Ayuba, Chairman Stakeholders and  Hon Yusuf Kantiok, Secretary ,issued at the end of the stakeholders  meeting of Zango Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna state.

According to the stakeholders, in as much as the party was willing and ready to participate in the forthcoming local council elections, they however, demanded for the strict adherence to the relevant laws of the state and country in all the processes and conduct of the Local Government election.

“After observing many violations of the law by the “Overseer” of the State Independent Elections Commission ( SIECOM ) we therefore, declare our total support for the decision of the party leadership at the state to challenge in court, the Notice of the Year 2021 Local Government Council General Elections in Kaduna State announced by the “Overseer” of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM), purportedly in consonance with section 25(1) of Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Law No. 2, 2018, which is still the subsisting law.”

“According to the Section 25 (1), ” The Commission shall not later than ninety days (90) days before the day appointed for holding of an election under this Law publish a notice in each Local Government Area. However, a careful examination of the of the notice of election issued on 15th February, 2021 and the day appointed for holding the election that is 15th May, 2021 is eighty nine (89) days, not ninety (90) days, as the “Overseer” is trying to hoodwink the people of Kaduna state into believing. Therefore, the notice contravenes the provisions of the law, and therefore, null and void.”

“The title Overseer is also unknown to the KAD-SIECOM Law 2018. The law recognizes only a Chairman. For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of section 4 of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Law No. 2, 2018 states in subsection (2), ” The Commission shall comprise of the following:(a) a Chairman; and (b) not less than five but not more than seven other persons as members. Presently, the KAD-SIECOM comprises of only two members. Therefore, it is right to say that, currently the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission is non-existent and for that reason, the “Overseer” who is not the Chairman or whosoever lacks the authority and powers to issue a notice of election. Consequently, the meeting resolved that the Notice issued by the “Overseer” is unconstitutional, against the law and illegal.”

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“The Stakeholders urged the Party at the state level to also challenge the sections of the bill allegedly passed recently by the House of Assembly giving the Governor of the state the powers to put in place a caretaker committee in any Local Government Area, where there is crisis, that makes it difficult for election to hold on the stipulated date. Likewise, the amendment of section 19 (d) of the KAD-SIECOM Law, 2018 which deals with the qualifications of a person contesting for election, by raising it above School Certificate level or it’s equivalent, is against the letter and spirit of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. Therefore it is unconstitutional and illegal.

“Assuming without conceding that the said amendments to the law was passed, public hearing which is one of the fundamental processes of law making that not only enriches the quality of a law but also confer legitimacy on a legislation was never conducted before passage of the new bill.In its resolve to realise these aspirations, strategic committees were set up and have swung into action,” they said.

They said the meeting received disturbing reports from their  field officers on the ongoing APC membership revalidation and registration exercise and noted with dismay the fact that APC officials in our Local Government Area were allegedly ” going from house to house in a show of desperation to hoodwink innocent people to register in their party since no reasonable persons go to the earlier designated polling units to register. “

“We are disturbed that in that process they obtain permanent voters cards ( PVCs ) of people on the grounds that they will be given financial and material gifts by the APC government. We urge our supporters and the general public to resist this ploy, as their members that have been in the party since inception have nothing to show, let alone new entrants.”

“We also urge the security agencies to investigate the real motive of collecting information on people’s PVCs. Such information could be used for rigging future elections.

The stakeholders advised all PVC holders to guard them jealously and not sell their future to a party that is well known for lies and not keeping to its promises. The meeting opined that no genuine party with good intentions will ask for a PVC before registering any person as a member.”

The Stakeholders reminded the ruling party in the state, that Zangon Kataf Local Government Area is a PDP stronghold. “This is not by accident, but in view of the unassailable developmental strides the party has brought to the LGA.

The APC should note that the people of the local government area are not ungrateful people as to forget the party that came to their aid in times of need so soon, because it is no longer in power. For that, the people are prepared to massively vote for the PDP and defend their votes,” they said.

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