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INEC Affirm Supreme Court Judgment… Fix Date For Guber Polls in 4 States

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In what seems like a dramatic twist of events and despise of Mohammed Bello Adoke, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered the immediate swearing in of the winner of the concluded December 3 rd 2011 Kogi state

governorship election, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Supreme Court had on Friday, in its judgement directed that five governors, whose tenure has elapsed on May 28, 2011 should quit office with immediate effect and hand over to the Speakers of their respective states.

A statement dated January 30, 2012 and signed by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega,said, 'It will be recalled that the Supreme Court on Friday, January 27, 2011 delivered a judgement that the tenure of five governors to wit: Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi and Sokoto states expired on the 28 th day of May 2011. This Commission having carefully studied the judgement and after due consultation with its legal team has decided as follows:

'That the Kogi state governorship election which took place on December 3 rd 2011 is a concluded election and therefore, the governor-elect should be sworn in immediately.

'The dates for the remaining governorship election are as follows: Adamawa, Saturday, February 4 th 2012; Bayelsa, Saturday, February 11 th 2012; Sokoto, Saturday, February 18 th 2012 and Cross River on Saturday, February 25 th 2012. This decision have been taken after careful consideration of the logistics, operational and administrative requirements to ensure, free, fair and credible elections.

'The Commission wishes to categorically states that ONLY candidates who emerged after the Court of Appeal judgement of Friday, April 15 th 2011 are the recognized candidates for the elections', the statement said.

Kindly find the Hon. Chairman's Press Statement on the Supreme Court judgment attached.

Meanwhile, ex-governor Timipre Sylva has rejected INEC's position on the recent Supreme Court judgement which sacked five governors, including himself, over a ruse tenure elongation earlier passed by the lower courts.

A statement made available to said that 'The attention of Chief Timipre Sylva has been drawn to a statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) saying that only candidates who emerged after the Court of Appeal judgement of 15 April 2011 are recognised for the Bayelsa State Governorship election fixed for 11 February 2012.

'Sylva believes that under our laws, it is not the place of INEC to interpret any court judgement. More importantly, Sylva disagrees completely with this interpretation of the Supreme Court judgement. He does not regard the INEC position as final.

'For him, the Supreme Court is better placed to resolve the matter of the proper candidate for the PDP in the Bayelsa State governorship election.

'Only on Monday, the Supreme Court granted Sylva leave to validate his candidacy in the election, as his cross appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling and application for accelerated hearing received the apex court's nod.

'Sylva urges his supporters to remain confident and hopeful that at the end of the day, justice will be done.'