27th May, 2012
The Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate in the 14 July, 2012 governorship election in Edo State, southsouth Nigeria, Ishaka Paul Ofemile, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reverse its decision disqualifying him from the election or face a legal action.
Ofemile’s disqualification by INEC, it was learnt, was sequel to the late submission of forms CF 001B and CF 002B by his party allegedly caused by logistics problems.
He however urged INEC to grant him waiver on the late submission of the forms.
While addressing journalists on Sunday at the NUJ Press Centre, in Benin City, the candidate who said he learnt about his disqualification over AIT and NTA network news last Thursday, said the forms arrived INEC Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 24 hours after the closure date.
While lamenting the colossal loss of fund spent on neck-breaking campaign/rallies in preparation for the election that produced his candidacy, he added “I am qualified for the election under any known law or condition set by INEC, except that my INEC forms CF 001B and CF 002B reached INEC Abuja on the morning of Tuesday 15 May, 2012; instead of Monday 14 May, 2012.
“The primaries in which I was elected as Action Alliance Governorship Candidate was done on Saturday 12 May, 2012, and was monitored by INEC headquarters staff in Benin City. Its Abuja office cannot therefore deny knowing me. INEC was promptly notified in writing with the original copy of Action Alliance for Edo state July 14, 2012 election dated 12 May 2012,” said the governorship hopeful.
Ofemile therefore gave INEC a 72-hour ultimatum, beginning from Friday May 25 for it to clear him for the election, adding that his disqualification was an afterthought.
“I see the said disqualification as an attempt to ruin my political life after the waiver of continuous voters’ registration in Edo State for the Action Congress of Nigeria and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; and I reject it,” he added.
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin City