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The Chairman of Action Alliance, Sanyaolu Abayomi has threatened that the party might sue the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission if it goes ahead with the local government election as slated for July 24 .
Abayomi who spoke after the stakeholders meeting said the commission erred for not allowing at least four political parties to make their input before and during the stakeholders meeting on the forthcoming election .
The OGSIEC had during the stakeholders’ meeting on Tuesday, in Abeokuta announced that it has amended the election time table, saying, it would now conduct the election in July 24, 2021.
He said ” we are not agreeing with the term given that 30 days ultimatum. Because, I think the timetable that was released earlier, they gave us 90 days, and that’s what we want to challenge today.
“Even, if its 90 days, it’s not up to 90 days. It’s just 80 something days. And, before they release any timetable, they have to hold a meeting with all the stakeholders first, before calling us to meeting outside.
“It is clear to us now that there is one power somewhere that is overall power that is controlling them. But, if they want to be fair with all the political parties, and want Local government election to be free and fair, they should just listen to us and guide against the date they gave us, and go along the constitution that guides OGSIEC. Because if they don’t do that, we won’t mind to go to court with them.”
The Chairman of the electoral body, Babatunde Osibodu while briefing the stakeholders which comprise nine political parties and newsmen said the commission would carry along all the eligible political parties in the state .
He said “look at how we have started. The law in Ogun State, section 10 (1 ) of the Ogun State Electoral law states that the commission should give not less than 30 days notice of election. How many days have we given ? 85 days notice.
“The law says 30 days and we gave 85 days. That is to make sure that every party that wishes to take part, every stakeholders that wishes to be involved has sufficient and ample time for whatever they needed to do and we are also here today to answer all your questions on transparency.”
Osibodu however, announced waiver of nomination form payment for female candidates in the July 24 Local Government election in the state.
He disclosed that contenders for chairmanship and councillorship are to pay N200,000 and N100,000 ‘non-refundable’ deposit to the commission respectively .
Osibodu said despite that the law states that not less than 30 days notice should be given, the commission has given almost 99 days .
He also disclosed that the commission had waived payment of the deposit for all female candidates in order to encourage women candidatures.
Osibodu said “the Electoral Law 2007 provides for payment of a non-refundable deposit by intending candidates.For Chairmanship candidates, this fee has been set as N200,000, while for Councillorship candidates, it is N100,000.
“As a gender-sensitive institution, we wish to encourage candidatures by women.
“Accordingly,the Commission has determined that this deposit will be waived for female candidates. For the avoidance of doubt, this means that female candidates will not be required to make any deposit.”
The OGSIEC Chairman also declared that all members of Transition
Committees currently serving in the 20 Local Government Areas, who intend to participate in the forthcoming poll must resign 30 days before election day.
Osibodu promised the commission’s commitment to conduct free, fair and credible polls.
But, the two opposition parties in their reactions faulted the commission for not extending invitation to them.and as well carried them along before the announcement .
Also kicking against the action of the commission , the state chairman of PDP, Sikitullah Ogundele claimed that his party was not invited to the stakeholders meeting .
Ogundele said the PDP will not boycott the election despite the alleged irregularity on the part of the commission .
He said ” I was not invited, somebody just called me that something is going on here.
“We are going to participate. people have now learnt their lessons, what they requested for was not what they were given.
” I just have come to challenge the credibility of the personality involved in the membership of the OGSIEC.
“They have apologised for not extending the invitation to us , they apologised which I know is not good for the system.
“The best for them is to repeat the stakeholders meeting and let people come and say what is in their mind and their fears towards the credibility.”