The Labour Party in Ogun State has said that if INEC hadn’t omitted it from the ballot paper, its governorship candidate, a woman, would most probably have won the election.
The party alleged that having seen its bright chances of emerging winner in the governorship election, some unnamed persons had ensured the omission of its name on the ballot papers.
Speaking through its legal adviser, Mr. Monday Mawah, LP argued that, because it was the only party in the country that ceded the governorship slot to a female, almost all the women in Ogun State were behind it and would have voted the party to victory in the governorship election of Saturday, March 9.
The Labour Party didn’t participate in the just concluded governorship and House of Assembly elections held on Saturday in Ogun State, as INEC had omitted its name from the ballot papers for the governorship election, while it was on the ballot for the House of Assembly polls.
Mawah, who accused INEC of “working against the party to satisfy its paymaster,” explained that Labour Party had written INEC immediately it observed the omission, but INEC didn’t correct the error.
He vowed that INEC will have to explain the omission at election petitions tribunal.
He said, “It is quite unfortunate that INEC has put us in this position.
“I don’t want to speculate, but the truth is that they have seen the bright chances of the Labour Party of emerging winner in the governorship election.
“It is not because of anything but because this is the only party across the 36 states of the federation that ceded the governorship slot to a female.
“And as a result of that, almost all the women in Ogun State were behind our party.
“But we were shocked when we were told that INEC had illegally removed the name of our party from the list and thereby made it impossible for our candidate to be voted for in the election.
“We are heading to the election tribunal because the issue of exclusion is a very fundamental thing and let me quickly say that my sympathy goes to the person that emerged as the winner in the purported election.
“I call it purported because the election is not supposed to hold, because, INEC, having excluded one of the parties on the illegal ground, made whatever they did an exercise in futility.
“I am confident that the governorship election tribunal will nullify the election because there is no reason whatsoever why our candidate should be excluded.
“We have copies of all the details of our candidates which we submitted to INEC for the elections, including the governorship.
“Our governorship candidate was omitted, but the House of Assembly candidate was not omitted. That means there was something fishy.
“I don’t know who is scared of Labour Party in Ogun State, but when we get to court, the issues will be resolved.
“Section 138 (1) paragraph D of the Electoral Act makes a ground upon which an election can be nullified.
“The section empowered tribunal to nullify elections on the ground of exclusion; so, the issue of exclusion is very fundamental, and we are very confident that we will get justice at the tribunal.
“As a matter of fact we will be the first party that will fight for election and win in Ogun State.”
When contacted for comment, Head of Department of Voter Education and Publicity of the INEC, Mrs. Adenike Tadese, said the party was free to go to election tribunal.
“The Labour Party is free to go to the election petitions tribunal. We will meet them there.”
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