The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Monday noted that the All Progressives Congress can contest in the December 5 Bayelsa West Senatorial bye-election if the appeal court Rules in its favour.
Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa disqualified the candidate of the party, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, in November.
INEC had last week excluded the party from contesting the bye-election.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, however, during an interview with newsmen on Monday said this would be possible, if the Appeal Court ordered the restoration of the party’s logo and its candidate in the ballot.
He noted that once the commission is served such a court judgement, it is bound to obey and would restore the party logo and its candidate in the ballot.
“By the provision of section 285 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal High Court, the State High Court and High Court of FCT have been given the powers and jurisdiction to entertain pre-election matters.”
“Part of that process is that the moment the commission is served with a court order, it is bound to obey.”
“If the court of appeal sets aside that particular judgement, the commission will also obey, but first it will look at the court order, see the statement of the court order and obey.”
“If the court order says APC as a political party does not have a candidate in the election and that the commission should remove the logo of the APC from the ballot, we are going to comply with that.”
“If the court of appeal says restore and we have the time to do that, we will restore. If it is at least three days to the election, we will definitely restore and the APC will be on the ballot.”
“If such judgement comes after the election, it depends on the specific order which the court has made; but whatsoever the court says, we will obey,” he said