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We will obey court order on candidate —INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will obey court orders in determining governorship candidates submitted by political parties for the Ondo State governorship election.

Mr Oluwole Osazie-Uzzi, INEC`s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, stated this at the “CSOs Roundtable on Emerging Issues of November 26 Ondo State Governorship Election,“ held on Tuesday, in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

He said while political parties had already submitted the lists of their candidates for the election; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presented two candidates.

Osazie-Uzzi said that although the commission was currently facing the challenge of conflicting different orders from competent courts of the same jurisdiction, INEC would base its decision on available court orders.

“It doesn’t matter whether a court order was right or wrong, as the commission has no power to question any of such order but to obey.

“Just like the leadership crisis in PDP, very often we are faced with conflicting orders.

“Court order A says do this, court order B says I restrain you from doing that.

“We are at a very dangerous position where litigants are being allowed to choose between what court order to obey and which to disregard, which is a very dangerous situation,’’ Osazie-Uzzi said.

He said that it would have been easier for INEC to make its decision on which order to obey if the courts involved were of different levels in terms of their hierarchy.

Osaze-Uzzi also said that the commission was doing its best to ensure that the votes of the people determine an election.

“Election should not be determined elsewhere either in the offices of INEC or in the court room.

“That is not desirable and not the way it was designed; that is an aberration.

“It is only where the due process has not been followed that the court should come in,” he said.

On the Ondo State governorship election, Osaze-Uzzi said that arrangements were in top gear to ensure that the election was free, fair and successful.

The director disclosed that the commission had recruited and trained more than 16, 700 ad-hoc personnel for the election.