The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has defended the omission of the Labour Party’s logo on ballot papers in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Chapter of the Labour Party (LP) had slammed INEC for allegedly omitting the party’s logo on ballot papers for the Senatorial and House of Representatives elections billed for Saturday.
The state LP Chairperson, Dayo Ekong, made this known during a news conference in Ikeja, calling on INEC to reschedule the election until the party’s candidates were included on the ballots.
She said: “This malicious error was found out this morning in Lagos, by me and my team of executive members during the routine inspection of election materials.
“It was at inspection that it was discovered that the Labour Party was not listed for the election for Senate in and House of Representatives in Lagos State. This is unacceptable and a wicked way of disenfranchising Lagos electorates.
“It is unimaginable that for the elections slated for Saturday, Feb. 25, Lagos electorate will only vote for the Labour Party Presidential Candidate as INEC made no provision for the election of Party’s Senate and House of Representatives Candidates.
“We cannot accept this as we do not believe that INEC made a mistake but rather, a deliberate, malicious and intentional act by INEC at disenfranchising our supporters from exercising their civic rights which is unacceptable.”
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, while reacting to the allegation, told pressmen on Friday at the INEC media briefing in Abuja that “The commission has a record of obedience to court orders.”
He explained that the Labour Party had in a day served on the commission 70 processes on the nomination of candidates and in Lagos, on Federal Constituencies alone.
However, INEC accepted 13 out of 24 candidates for the nomination of federal constituencies in the state.
Yakubu, however, said the commission’s legal team has been tasked to look into the court order from the party and respond appropriately.
He said “So, we have already tasked our legal office to look at all the judgments we have been receiving and they have been coming virtually every day.
“The party you are talking about in one day alone served on INEC 70 processes on the nomination of candidates and in Lagos, on Federal Constituencies alone, we accepted the nomination of candidates for 13 out of 24 Federal Constituencies from that party by court order. So, we will look at the court order and respond accordingly.”