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We Didnít Ask For Atikuís Photograph Ė INEC

Posted by By Habib Aruna (Lagos) and Paul Mumeh (Abuja) on 2007/02/27 | Views: 626 |

We Didnít Ask For Atikuís Photograph Ė INEC


It is becoming increasingly likely that Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, would not contest in the elections, having been hemmed in on all sides by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

ēName Not On Ballot Paper ēAtikuís Photograph With INEC, AC Insists ēSays Iwu Will Be Charged With Contempt

It is becoming increasingly likely that Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, would not contest in the elections, having been hemmed in on all sides by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC Chairman, Maurice Iwu, confirmed on Monday that the manís photograph was not required for the ballot paper, despite the fact that Atiku is contesting for the Presidency under the banner of the Action Congress (AC).

The AC has countered, though, that officials of the INEC demanded the photograph of Atiku at the weekend and were given.

"We will be forced to name the officials who received the photographs from us if we are pushed to the wall," said Lai Mohammed, AC National Publicity Secretary.

The implication of Atikuís photograph not being on the ballot paper is that he and the others indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) report would not vie for office in April.

The INEC has repeatedly told the political parties to replace those tagged unfit or they would forfeit their seats.

Iwu spoke in Abuja when he swore in new Resident Electoral Commissioners for Rivers (Rose Obuoforibo) and Gombe (Habu Zarama).

The INEC would not deviate from the law and the Constitution in the discharge of its duties, in spite of attacks, he said.

He implored the new officials not to be distracted by criticism.

The commissioners replaced those who have served out the mandatory five years.

They are the first set to be appointed under the Electoral Act 2006.

Both Obuoforibe and Zarama pledged their loyalty to the country and promised to deliver free and fair elections.

In its reaction to the disclosure about Atiku, the AC said Iwu risks contempt of court for disobeying court orders, since Atiku cannot be disqualified because he has not been indicted.

Mohammed insisted that "Iwu is just wasting his time. There is a subsisting court order restraining the INEC from indicting any AC candidate. Iwu will be charged with contempt because he is not immune from prosecution."

He said the attempt to prevent Atiku from running is against the Constitution and the laws of Nigeria, and that the INEC is trying to get through the back door what it could not do legally.

"We rely on the Constitution and the court of public opinion. If the INEC goes ahead, we will go back to court and sue it for contempt."

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