The leadership of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Supreme Court for unlawfully excluding the party from the November 16th, 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.
The National chairman of the party, Dr. Onwubuya Abraham told newsmen on Friday in Abuja, that the party fully complied with the election timetable issued by the electoral umpire by conducting its governorship primaries in Lokoja on the 5th of September, 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the INEC and also met all other requirements but was unlawfully excluded from the ballot.
According to him, the party is dissatisfied with the earlier Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal judgements and had taken the matter to the Supreme Court.
“FJP was dissatisfied with the judgements of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal on the matter, so we have gone to the Supreme Court for unlawful denial of our Party in Kogi governorship election.
“Having met the requirements of the Electoral Act at that time, the Freedom and Justice Party was unlawfully denied and our candidate was not featured on ballot papers on 16th November, 2019,” he said.
He said that there was evidence at the party’s disposal which was confirmed by INEC that the party duly complied with the rules and should have participated in Kogi governorship election.
He said INEC’s reason for the exclusion of FJP was their own fault, vowing that the party would pursue the matter diligently.
He said, “We were surprised, FJP was unlawfully denied the opportunity to file the nomination papers of our candidate by INEC on the ground that we did not arrived INEC Headquarters for filling of necessary forms before 6pm on the 9th of September, 2019.
“This did not go down well with us because the INEC did not issue any official correspondence with our party, particularly that we have always been participating in stakeholders meetings on so many issues.”