19th March, 2023
Amb. Wilfred Bonse, the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Cross River said the party will sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the omission of the party’s logo from ballot papers.
Bonse, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ogoja said he was disappointed over the conduct of the governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.
He noted that the party had earlier written a letter to INEC to ensure the inclusion of his party’s name on the ballot paper, instead of only the logo.
He added that he was denied the opportunity of voting for himself and having the Cross River people vote for him.
Bonse said that the party would sue INEC for the wrongful exclusion of its logo from the ballot papers.
“This is a very interesting election in which I didn’t even have the opportunity to vote for myself because I was wrongfully excluded from the ballot.
“NNPP was not represented at all in the governorship ballot paper, and that’s not acceptable.
“We are going to sue for wrongful exclusion. We intend to take this to the highest possible level to ensure we get redress
“It is wrong for INEC to let us go through the process, then they go all the way and print ballot papers for an election and excluded us.
“So, this is just beginning and certainly not the last of this,” he said.
Also, Carolyn Williams, the NNPP Senatorial Candidate for Cross River North in the recently concluded presidential and national assembly elections held on Feb. 25, said she was also on ground to cast her vote in her polling unit at Mbube East, Ward II.
Williams, however, expressed disappointment at the turn of events, adding that justice must prevail for NNPP.
“Well, I didn’t expect INEC to act differently. They had deliberately erased NNPP from the 2023 elections in Cross River. First, it was my senatorial and the presidential election.
“We raised concerns about the party’s logo and our absence from the ballot, but nothing, absolutely nothing was done to correct the deliberate act by INEC.
“This is totally unfair to me and our gubernatorial candidate,” she said.
Simon Akpa, INEC, Assistant Electoral Officer for Ogoja, however, said he was not aware of the issue as it had not been formally reported to INEC on Sunday.
Akpa, however, said that if the report was true and what was obtainable not just in Ogoja or Boki but also in other parts of the state, then the party had the constitutional right to file an official complaint to INEC for further investigation.
“The complaint has to be officially transmitted from the national level of NNPP to INEC. At that level, the commission will give prompt attention to the issue.
“However, if the issue was a peculiar one to a particular local government area and not a general concern, the complaint might not really hold water.
“But if the same concerns were raised and observed all over the state, then it will definitely be looked into by the electoral commission,” he said.