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Edo LP Guber Ticket Tussle: Imansuangbon’s Loyalists Allege Plan to Compromise Judiciary, INEC - TELL Magazine

Edo LP Guber Ticket Tussle: Imansuangbon’s Loyalists Allege Plan to Compromise Judiciary, INEC

They are former governorship aspirant and renowned educationist, Kenneth Imansuangbon, Amen Ogbemudia-Uhuangho, former executive director, of education, in the administration of the immediate

Some members and supporters of a governorship aspirant in the Edo State chapter of the Labour Party, LP, Kenneth Imansuangbon, have raised the alarm over alleged subterranean move by some “money bags” in the party to subvert justice in the suits challenging the emergence of Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata, as the party’s candidate in the upcoming September 21 gubernatorial election in the state. They insisted that Akpata, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, was unfit to fly the LP governorship flag for sundry reasons, including dual citizenship, and giving false information.

The group, under the aegis, Catalyst Committee, CC, has therefore admonished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Judiciary not to succumb to political pressure and uphold the rule of law and the Electoral Act 2022, as amended.

In a statement by the coordinator of the group, Dr. Abel Oarhe, the Catalyst Committee noted that the call became necessary as some “money bags” were out to ensure that justice was not served, thereby subverting the will of the people.

The statement, made available to newsmen in Benin City, argued that it is only when justice is served on the matter that democracy can be deepened in the country. It also warned against any attempt by the electoral body to shift the goal post as this would create disruption in the nation’s political system thereby eroding completely the confidence in INEC in the eyes of the people.

Imansuangbon, a lawyer, and educationist, had dragged the LP candidate to the Federal High Courts in Abuja and Benin, seeking interpretation of the constitution regarding the emergence of Akpata as the party’s candidate. Imasuagbon had alleged that Akpata was not fit to have participated in the primary, nor declared the party’s candidate as a result of issues bothering on provision of false information, dual citizenship, among others. He pointed out that the issues in question did not only breach the party’s and INEC’s guidelines, but also contravene the country’s constitution.

He stated in his submission that “INEC should know that Olumide Akpata is not the only one that is in the contest, but there are other 16 gubernatorial aspirants in the contest. Therefore, INEC and the judiciary cannot afford to be seen shifting the goal post in violation of the clear guidelines and rule of law. The integrity of INEC and Judiciary is at stake, not just the issue of Olumide, but issue of democracy and rule of law in Edo State because the other 16 political parties will not fold their arms because someone is boasting to shift the goal post. It is sacrosanct to note that obedience to the rule of law is part of the requirement to contest an election.

“It must be emphasised that inability to obey the law is a clear ground for disqualification. So, nobody should pamper any candidate who has deliberately violated the provision of the electoral laws or INEC guideline. Whoever disobeys the law, the consequences are there, and it should be applied; and that is why Kenneth Imansuangbon has gone to court to rescue the party. INEC must be very careful that Nigerians are not too happy but should always seize the opportunity to redeem their image when such opportunity comes up by ensuring that the law is strictly followed. The Judiciary and INEC should know that the people are watching, and it is not about Olumide of Labour Party, but the entire process.”

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