IPAC Wants Niger to Suspend LG Election
By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Inter Party Advisory Council IPAC has advised the Niger state government and its Independent Electoral Commission to suspend the planned conduct of election into the 27 local government councils in the state.
The State Independent Electoral Commission NSIEC had late last month released the guidelines for the conduct of the election which is expected to hold at the end of this month.
However, IPAC chairman in the state Alhaji Buhari Yakubu Yerima said in a statement made available to newsmen in Minna on Thursday said that conducting the Local Government election now will be counterproductive.
Yerima said conducting the local government election now will also be infringing on the provisions of the 2022 Electoral act as amended.
Citing the Federal High Court decision of 27th day of July 2022 delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo in the case between 6 Members of the PDP in Edo State against INEC, Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, Attorney General of Edo State, Speaker Edo State House of Assembly, PDP and PDP National Chairman, Yerima said the court held that “the reduction of the number of days for the purpose of Local Government Elections in Edo State by the Edo State House of Assembly is not in tandem with the Electoral Act 2022 and is therefore null and void”
The IPAC chairman further submitted in the statement that Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 permits INEC 360 days to publish notice of election and section 29 allows Political Parties to not later than 180 days before election submit the lists of its candidates, while Sections 104 and 150(1) and (3) of the Act mandates the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in the conduct of their elections into the Local Government Councils”
Yerima said It should be noted that Section 150(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that the procedure regulating elections conducted by INEC to Area Councils in the FCT shall be the same as the procedure regulating elections conducted to the Local Governments by any State Commission and that any election to a Local Government Area that is conducted by a State Electoral Commission in violation of subsection (1) cited above shall be invalid.
He therefore “most humbly call on the Niger State Governor “to toe” the path of legality and call the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission to order, to suspend the planned election” saying “Laws are meant to be obeyed and not for the fun of it. Indeed a stitch in time saves Nine”.
Neither the state government nor the State Independent Electoral Commission could be reached to comment on the issue.