Appeal Court Jugement on Deregistration of Parties Won’t Affect Ondo Election, Says INEC

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By James Sowole

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday said the the Court of Appeal Jugement reversing the deregistration of some political parties would not affect the October 10 Governorship Election of Ondo State.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, gave the clarification during a webinar workshop for journalists on the forthcoming election in the Sunshine State.

The workshop was organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) in conjunction with the Nigeria. Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State for select journalists in the state.

The training has as its theme: ‘Professional Factual, Conflict Sensitivity and Safety Ccinscious Reporting of Ondo State Governorship Election.’

The INEC had after the Appelate Court jugement on Monday, stated that it would appeal the jugement of the FCT Appelate Court immediately at the Supreme Court.

Oyekanmi said the jugement would not affect the Ondo Governorship Election, because none of the affected political parties have conducted primary to participate in the October Election.

According to Oyekanmi, conduct INEC monitored primary, was one of the requirements for participation in the election and since none of them participate before the closing of window for the primary, they cannot take part and that cannot affect the INEC’s preparation

He said the INEC would appeal the jugement because there were six judgements on the deregistration of political parties.

“Of the six jugements, four High Court and one Appeal Court were in favour of INEC action, while the latest Appeal Court jugement was in favour of the political parties.

“There is confusion, because an appeal court of the same jurisdiction that gave Monday’s jugement, had earlier supported INEC’s action.

‘However, the jugement cannot have effect on the preparation for the Ondo Governorship Election because we are on Number six out of the 14 items on the INEC’s guidelines for the election.

Earlier in his opening remark, the Director of IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade, said the programme was organised to increase the capacity of journalists that were going to cover the forthcoming election on what was required of them in terms of information gathering, reporting and other ethical behaviours while performing their duties.

He urged journalists to report issues that would guide electorate in making good choice during the election and also report what will promote peace in the state.