Disqualification: ‘INEC Should Declare 2019 Presidential Election Void If…’ – Natasha Akpoti

The gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the 2019 presidential election if her party is considered as ineligible for the November 16 election in Kogi.

Akpoti made this known during Politics Today with Seun Okinbaloye of Channels TV on Sunday.

According to her, the disqualification of her candidature is illegal and unconstitutional, urging that INEC should retract its decision.

“Let me draw your attention to this, my deputy is no way liable to disqualify me. I went through the rigorous processes of the electoral act that would nominate me as a legible candidate. I paid for the form, I participated for the primaries, I had the support of most of the party delegates who voted me, and INEC accepted my nomination as valid, published my name on the 12th of September on its website.

“So, INEC itself supposed to have some procedures beforehand to check whether I was qualified or not before listing me on the names of those eligible to contest in the November 16 election.

“If INEC itself could allow a candidate to contest the 2019 presidential election with no valid certificate to enable him eligible for the poll then, I don’t think it is now that it would be legally right for the commission to disqualify my candidature on the ground of my deputy who’s deemed invalid,” she said.

The barrister called on INEC to provide accurate answers to some fundamental questions that surround her disqualification.

“I think INEC should be bold enough to answer these legal questions: One, does INEC has the power to disqualify a candidate that was validly nominated? The second legal question is, does an invalid nomination of a deputy governor disqualify the nomination of a valid governor? For me, there is no provision in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria neither is there any in the electoral act.”

In her closing remarks, Akpoti urged her supporters to be calm and be law abiding pending the time she gets her mandate back.

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