The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has directed its lawyer to defend the report submitted by the commission’s Monitoring Team on Yobe North APC senatorial primaries, which returned Bashir Machina as winner of the election.
In a statement by INEC spokesman Festus Okoye, the commission said it would henceforth review processes filed in the court by its lawyers in order to have synergy with its position.
“The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to a counter affidavit purportedly filed in the Federal High Court, Damaturu Judicial Division relating to the Yobe North Senatorial District primary election.
“Notwithstanding the matter in Court and without prejudice to the consideration or likely outcome of the case in court, the Commission reiterates its earlier position that it stands by the report of its monitoring team and it was on the basis of that report that the Commission did not publish the name and personal particulars of any candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
“Consequently, the Commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking Officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.
“The Commission has also instructed the external counsel briefed to handle this matter to reflect the correct position, which aligns with the report submitted by our Monitoring Team,” Mr Okoye said.
Recall that in a bid to get favourable judgement for the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, INEC lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had contradicted the commission’s position by discrediting the May 28 primaries.
DAILY NIGERIAN had reported how Mr Ikpeazu, in the counter affidavit, said the primary election was conducted by Yobe State officers of the APC and not national committee of the party as required by the law.
This position however contradicts the INEC’s Certified True Copy of the result released to Mr Machina’s counsel, Ibrahim Bawa, SAN.