We Cannot Compel INEC to Accept Your Candidature – Court Rules on Kogi Speaker’s Suit

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja has dismissed a suit filed by the Speaker, Kolawole Matthew, seeking to be recognized as the House of Representatives candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency in the 2023 general elections.

Justice Peter H. Mallong, in his ruling on Thursday, said the electoral umpire is entitled to set timeline for all his activities.

Justice Mallong said once the timeline is passed, the court cannot force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the date as such is the discretion of the electoral body.

The judge ruled that the court cannot compel INEC to open its portal and accept Kolawole’s candidacy.

Kolawole name was missing when the electoral umpire released the list of candidates of each parties after the primary elections.

Kolawole, in a suit marked FHC/LKJ/CS/35/2022, sought the order of court directing the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to upload his particulars as the duly elected candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the primary election held on the 27th May, 2022 having scored the highest valid vote thereupon nominated as approved by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

Justice Mallong also dismissed the suit by fellow aspirant, Segun Okobatoke, seeking the court to recognize him as the party candidate.


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