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INEC wrong to issue Diri certificate-of-return – Adams Oshiomhole is still angry

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National Charman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday faulted the decision of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certificate of return to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri.

He said  the commission only decided to usurp the interpretative powers of the court.

He said APC will be heading to court to ensure that nobody who was not elected by the people is imposed on Bayelsa as Governor.

“INEC has now chosen to appropriate the power of the court and the judicial power to interpret laws that it is neither competent to do nor does it have the mandate to do.

“Rather than allow the court, if there is conflicting interpretation to clarify the issues, INEC resorted to appropriate judicial powers and choose to proceed without any express order from the Supreme Court to purport to have cancelled or voided, or waste the votes casted in favour of APC in order to be able to have a dubious spread in favour of PDP.

“INEC failed to recognise that its responsibility does not include legal interpretation. And, the Supreme Court did not ask INEC to go and begin to assume judicial powers. All they had to do was simple arithmetic of who has the highest votes.

“Does such person have the required spread? If the answer is no. INEC can do no more. It has decided to now assume that the case of Bayelsa is exactly the same case as that of Zamfara. Now, in so doing, INEC has assumed judicial powers.

“Yet, even elementary 100 level student know that the issue in Zamfara is quite different from that of Bayelsa state. In Zamfara state the Supreme Court said APC didn’t conduct primary and since we didn’t conduct primary according to Supreme Court, we could not have had candidate because primary is a requirement under the law and under the electoral act and under our party constitution.”

Oshiomhole also lashed out at Rivers Governor Nyelsom Wike over his statement that his (Oshiomhole) comment on the decision of the Supreme Court is capable of creating anarchy in the country.

He said Wike was trying to use his name to regain relevance in the PDP, pointing out that the governor already accepted the fact that his party lost the governorship election.

Addressing a news conference at the APC secretariat, Oshiomhole said: “Between me and my friend (Wike) who has the history of violence?

“Don’t you know how many lives you have wasted that we have read in the papers. I ran for election twice as governor and not a single gun shot was fired.

“Where was the police and military officers beheaded, it was in Rivers? Who was the great winner of that election violence, was it not Wike?

“So if he is the one talking about violence, when did the tortoise begin to challenge the antelope to a race race?

“Governor Dickson, who accepted defeat in Bayelsa election, accused him of anti-party activity and I know he wants to use me to regain his lost membership of PDP”.

The former Edo Governor said that the Supreme Court never made any consequential order but merely asked the electoral umpire to issue certificate to the next candidate with the required spread.

He said that the votes scored by the PDP candidate only met the requirement in five local government areas of the state, adding that what is required was six local government areas.

The former Labour leader said: “For good reasons, the Supreme Court gave a conditional order which is that INEC should swear in the second candidate with the highest number of votes and the required constitutional spread.

“I believe fact that the Supreme Court insisting on constitutional spread is in recognition that the constitution doesn’t want anyone whether governor or president to preside over the affairs of the state without at least enjoying two third of the support of the electorates of that state.

“Clearly, the votes scored by the PDP and their candidate in that election only met the requirements in five local government councils. And, you need six LGAs to meet the requirements of two third.