Ondo LP seeks postponement of polls over ‘missing party logo’ on ballot papers


The Labour Party (LP) in Ondo has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone elections in seven constituencies in the state over alleged missing ballot papers.


Agbaje Abiodun, secretary of the LP in Ondo, at a media briefing on Friday, accused INEC of disenfranchising the party’s supporters.


He listed areas affected as Ondo east/west, Okitipupa/Irele, Ilaje/Ese Odo, Akure south/north, Akoko south-west/south-east, Akoko north-east/west, and Ondo east/west federal constituencies as well as Ondo central senatorial district.


In November 2022, the party reportedly conducted substitution nominations to replace candidates who withdrew in 24 states, including Ondo.


But at the point of uploading the names of the new candidates, there were claims that INEC said its nomination portal was faulty and also refused to accept the candidates’ list manually.


On February 2, a federal high court in Abuja ordered INEC to accept the nomination of LP candidates in 24 states either manually or through its electronic nomination portal.


The court said the nomination and submission of the candidates’ list cannot be rejected by INEC from any party until 90 days before the general election.


Speaking at the media briefing on Friday, Adeyeri Kunle, the LP candidate for Akoko south-east/south-west federal constituency, urged INEC to ensure that the party is not excluded from the polls.


“Omission of the Labour Party logo in the ballot paper sent to Ondo state for senate and house of representatives election was a deliberate act to disenfranchise our supporters. The deliberate act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is aimed at disenfranchising us,” Kunle said.


“On 2nd of February, 2023, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a federal high court in Abuja had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept the nomination of candidates of the Labour Party in 24 states.


“The court further ordered that the commission must accept the list of senatorial and house of representatives candidates, particularly in Ondo state, either manually or through its electronic nomination portal.”


On his part, Fiyinfoluwa Bademosi, LP candidate in Ondo central senatorial district said INEC cannot disobey a court order.


“Why the flagrant disobedience of a court order? Unequivocally, this distasteful act which was purposely carried out and became the cynosure of all eyes yesterday was targeted at states with die-hard fans of our great party,” he said.


“Sadly, if an umpire could commit such an embarrassing gaffe, it is a testament to the calls by concerned Nigerians over INEC’s honesty in the February 25 general election.


“We hereby urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the upper and lower chamber election until the needful is done.


 “Furthermore, we remain undeterred as we urge our esteemed supporters to remain focused and stay away from unnecessary distraction, aS we shall lawfully pursue the course until victory is ascertained.”

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