By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Ishola Balogun-Fulani led All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state has warned the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) against making the mistake of not publishing the names of candidates of the party duly recognised by the court of law.
In a fresh letter dated January 29, 2018 and addressed to INEC chairman, Prof. Yakub Mahmud, Balogun-Fulani reminded the electoral body of the subsisting judgment of the Ilorin High Court which recognised his leadership of the party in the state and therefore becomes the authentic body to conduct the party’s primaries for picking candidates for all elective positions.
INEC had in its last publication listed the names of candidates not from Balogun- Fulani executive committee as APC national assembly’s candidates in the state, a development that forced the APC leader to write the electoral body through the law firm of Yusuf O.Ali and Co.
In the latest letter, Balogun Fulani said: “Your commission is advised and warned not to repeat the mistake of the past in deliberately, wittingly or unwittingly publishing any other unrecognized names as candidates of the APC in Kwara state other than the names of the candidates duly submitted by our executive committee of APC in line with the judgment order of the court.
“We are aware that the names of governorship candidates of respective stated are to be published by your commission on 31/1/2019 and this is a wake up call that your commission should mandatorily and or dutifully publish the names of candidates that are legally and validly recognized by the judgment of the court as submitted by our executive committee. We hope and trust that you will not in any way shy away or shirk from legal obligation imposed on you by law.”
It is recalled that APC , in a letter, addressed to the Chairman, INEC, through its counsel, Yusuf O. Ali & Co., and dated 21st January 2019, had charged INEC to publish the names of the candidates submitted by its party in line with the judgment of Kwara State High Court to sanitize the processes associated with the publication of the names of eligible candidates ”by restoring credibility and legality to the commission in the spirit of rule of law.”
In the letter which was also copied to the European Union, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), the APC expressed dismay and bewilderment that INEC ”published strange names as Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates benefiting from judgment of the Kwara State High Court delivered in suit as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kwara State against whose names “Court Order” was written in the list of names of Candidates published by your Commission on
17th January 2019.
“It is an undisputable fact that apart from the aforesaid judgment of the Kwara State High Court delivered on the 19th December,2018, which has not been set aside by the Appeal Court, the only time the Court of Appeal sat in respect of the Appeal lodged against the Kwara State High Court judgment of the 19th December 2018 was the sitting of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division held on the 14th January 2019 during which the Court of Appeal never issued an order setting aside the judgment of Kwara State High Court delivered on the 19th December 2018,” the letter stated.
The Balogun-Fulani led APC executive said what the Commission did by inserting ‘Court ordered’ against the names of the Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates when there is no court order to that effect sounds ”criminal, fraudulent and deceitful manipulation or representation of facts by the Commission”.