Kwara LG Polls Court dismisses PDP suit against State Electoral Commission

PDP, therefore, prayed the court to direct the commission from conducting the Nov 18 local government elections in the state.

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An Ilorin High Court on Tuesday dismissed the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) praying the court to restrain the Kwara Independent Electoral commission (KWASIEC) from conducting the Nov. 18 Local Government elections in the state.

Justice Suleiman Akanbi, in his judgment dismissed all the claims of the party without cost.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that PDP had through its lawyer, Salmon Jawando filed an originating summon before the court challenging the power of the electoral body to screen candidates for the elections.

The party also challenged KWASIEC powers to introduced additional qualifications for the candidates for the local government elections.

PDP, therefore, prayed the court to direct the commission from conducting the Nov 18 local government elections in the state.

Justice Akanbi, in his judgment, held that Kwara State House of Assembly can make law to complement the Election guidelines and Electoral Law.

He also held that the election guidelines issued by the State electoral commission was not inconsistent with the Constitution of the country.

The court held that section 710 (6) of the 1999 Constitution was not inconsistent with the resolution passed by the Kwara House of Assembly in regard to the local government elections.

According to Judge, there was nothing in the constitution that empowered the National Assembly to make laws for the local governments.

Akanbi held that the State House of Assembly has not breached the constitution by passing a resolution on the local government election guidelines.

He added that payment of nomination fee by candidates for the election amounted to additional qualification and not a breach of the constitution.

The Court dismissed PDP claim that the House of Assembly ran foul of section 31 of the constitution.

“I cannot see any inconsistency in the House of Assembly resolution; what the House did is in the ambit of parameter of the electoral law.

“It is the function of the House of Assembly to legislate on local government election,” Justice Akanbi said.

Akanbi held that issues of tax payment, payment of nomination fee and screening of candidates were laws made by the House of Assembly.

Dismissing the entire claims file by PDP against KWASIEC, Justice Akanbi held that Kwara Assembly has not violated the National Assembly and the Electoral Act.

NAN reports that KWASIEC had fixed Chairmen and councilors’ elections in the 16 local government areas for Saturday, Nov 18.

The Commission had also fixed N250, 000 as nomination fees for chairmanship candidates and N50, 000 for Councillorship candidates.

KWASIEC also directed that all candidates must provide evidence of payment of three years tax, while candidates will be screened by the Commission.

Dissatisfied with the directives, PDP went to court to challenge KWASIEC power to go outside the Electoral Act.

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