The Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC has responded to what it called “repeated claim by notable politician, Senator Iyiola Omisore, that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, is in defiance of a court order removing Ambassador Rufus Akeju as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Osun State.”
Mr Kayode Idowu,chief press secretary to Professor Jega, INEC chairman said in a statement today that though the commission preferred to remain silent on the issue , its “ silence may be mistaken by the unwary public as a proof of veracity of Senator Omisore’s claim, it has become imperative to make clear that there is no subsisting court order against Ambassador Akeju as Osun State REC.”
The INEC spokesman said, “True, in a ruling on 23rd March, 2011 by the Federal High Court in Oshogbo, Hon. Justice Babs Kuewumi gave an interlocutory order of injunction restraining INEC from recognising the REC pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons in the suit. But the Commission’s lawyers lodged an appeal and filed a Motion for stay of execution of the interlocutory order.”
According to Idowu “ This appeal is still pending before the Court of Appeal in Akure. Meanwhile, Hon. Justice Babs Kuewumi, in another ruling on 31st May, 2012, granted the application for stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal made by the Plaintiff – the Peoples Democratic Party. The position of the law as at today is that the order of injunction granted by the lower court is in abeyance pending the final determination of the appeal.
“Let me reaffirm that INEC is a law-abiding organisation and does not defy valid court orders. The Commission is guided by provisions of the Law and strives to do the right thing always. Politicians, and indeed all Nigerians, are urged to be likewise disposed – for the good health of our democracy”,Idowu said.