The Independent National Electoral Commission on Saturday refuted claims that it had withdrawn from or given up on the appeal of the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal decision.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, was declared the victor by the court on September 20, after which it fired Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, who had run for governor on behalf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the March 18 election.
Although Yusuf referred to the verdict as a “misapplication of the law,” he vowed to appeal it.
However, INEC emphasized its position following a letter from its state legal officer, which it described as “not authorized,” in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun.
The officer was disciplined, and the commission claims that the correspondence was later withdrawn.
“We wish to state categorically that where litigants join INEC in a case, the Commission is under obligation to respond accordingly,” it said.
“We have therefore instructed our lawyers to proceed in line with extant policy of the Commission. The policy has not changed.”
See the full statement below:
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to media reports based on a letter written by the Legal Officer of our Kano State office indicating that the Commission had withdrawn from the appeal process in the ongoing Kano Governorship election petition case.
“We wish to state categorically that the letter was not authorised. It has since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.
“The public is therefore advised to discountenance the insinuation that the Commission has withdrawn from the case or even worse abandoned the appeal.
“We wish to state categorically that where litigants join INEC in a case, the Commission is under obligation to respond accordingly. We have therefore instructed our lawyers to proceed in line with extant policy of the Commission. The policy has not changed.”