PDP Queries INEC's Resolve To Appeal Ruling On Governors' Tenure

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, March 06, (THEWILL) – The Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its resolve to appeal the decision of a Federal High Court, which ruled that the tenure of five state governors would end in 2012 and not in May this earlier. The court also barred the electoral commission from conducting elections in the states this April as earlier scheduled.

The five states included in the judgement are Cross River, Adamawa, Kogi, Sokoto and Bayelsa.

Delta State has also said it is a beneficiary of the ruling.

In the letter to INEC, Dr. Haliru Mohammed objected to the ‘zeal’, which the electoral body has employed in the pursuit of the appeal while accusing INEC officials of working with opposition parties.

The PDP said it wondered why INEC officials never showed the same kind of zeal where judicial rulings did not go in favour of the party.

Also recall that relations between the PDP and INEC has degenerated to an all time low following INEC’s decision to reject some nominees presented by the national secretariat of the PDP as its candidates for the April elections. Instead, INEC had often ignored the PDP national office lists and taken its decisions on eligible candidates for the poll either based on court orders or relying on results its observers at the various primaries sent to it.

The letter reads in part: “We are constrained to register our displeasure with statements by some high ranking officials of INEC on the decision to appeal against this ruling.

“As umpires in the electoral process, we expect them to demonstrate neutrality and fairness to all. A situation where the electoral umpire becomes an obviously interested party in a dispute involving several other players does not augur well for the integrity of the electoral process.

“We wonder why officials of INEC never showed the same kind of zeal in cases where judicial decisions were made against the PDP in many states of the federation.

“The question on the lips of all discerning observers today is on whose behalf is INEC appealing? Or what injuries do they stand to suffer from this ruling?”