'No Going Back On Council Polls'

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The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) on Monday declared that it would not rescind its decision to stop de-registered political parties from participating in the council poll scheduled for October 22.

LASIEC’s Secretary, Adeyinka Jeje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the election would not be delayed for the determination of suits against INEC from the de-registration.

The National Action Council (NAC) one of de-registered parties on Friday wrote to LASIEC, urging it to put-off the council poll until its suit against INEC on de-registration was determined.

The party warned that if LASIEC failed to reason with it, NAC would immediately commence legal proceedings against the commission.

The statement said that NAC’s suit over its de-registration was challenging the illegality and unconstitutionality of the exercise by INEC.

“We believe that LASIEC will, in the interest of justice and the observance of the Rule of Law, immediately see the necessity to put on hold plans for the Lagos council poll until the courts finally rule on our case,” it said.

LASIEC had on August 20, written to NAC and two other political parties de-registered by INEC informing them that they should return the commission’s nomination forms.

The letter added that their candidates would not be allowed to participate in the poll.

Jeje said: “The October date for the Lagos Council poll remains sacrosanct and cannot be changed for reasons given by the party.”

“LASIEC does not register parties. We work with the list of political parties given to us by INEC. The Lagos Council poll will be conducted based on that list,” he said.

Jeje explained that NAC and the other two parties had yet to return the nomination forms, as requested by LASIEC.

“We are not bothered by that because the important thing is that the parties will not be allowed to take part in the council polls,” he added.

NAN reports that 28 political parties collected LASIEC’s nomination forms for the Lagos council poll.