By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
Following last Saturday’s postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide, some groups are moving for a class action against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with a demand for financial compensation for Nigerians arising from losses suffered due to the postponement of the polls.
They will also be demanding an unreserved apology to the citizenry by the electoral umpire.
A Jean Monnet professor and current Director of studies at Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), Prof. Anthony Kila, said his organisation is already planning how to ensure that people affected by the postponement get financial reward.
The renowned social commentator, who is also the founder of Common Voice Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) designed to give common voice to Nigeria, revealed that the platform is instituting a legal action against INEC over the postponement.
According to Kila, “My group, Common Voice Nigeria, in collaboration with a growing number of civil society organisations (CSOs) is planning a class action against INEC.”
He said: “Anyone that has suffered a demonstrable loss due to this abrupt rescheduling of postponement should please get in touch and join the law suit.”
Buttressing Kila’s view, an Abuja-based lawyer and former National Secretary, Labour Party (LP), Dr. Kayode Ajuola said having put candidates, electorate and observers at risks of various proportions to get to different locations for voting, they deserve apologies from INEC.
“Observers with calculated expenses, candidates whose budgets have been tampered with, innocent corps member who bear huge risks in the interest of the country, all deserve a word of consolation.
“It is unacceptable for INEC, who solely bears the blame for this embarrassing development to have merely announced a reschedule which comes with such astromical costs and consequences without a word to the effect of penitence and sore apologies,” he said.
He maintained that “INEC, having shifted its timetable, lacks justification to shut out parties/candidates for failure to meet deadlines for presenting candidates as seen in Rivers, Zamfara and other states.”
He queried: “Does INEC consider these dear costs? Does it weigh the worth of these costs and thinks of mitigating them? These are queries INEC must act on immediately.”