INEC bars APC from Bayelsa West senatorial by-election

The Independent National Electoral Commission has struck out the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, from the Bayelsa West Senatorial District election.

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The election, which was scheduled for October 31, 2020, was rescheduled for December 5, 2020 as a result of the EndSARS protests and disturbances that rocked the country recently.

The Head of Voter Education and Publicity of INEC in Bayelsa State, Mr. Wilfred Ifogah, said in a statement issued on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner that the commission had taken a decision to strike out the APC and its candidate.

Ifogah said that the INEC decision was in compliance with the judgment of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa which restrained the commission from including the logo and name of the APC and its candidate on the ballot.

He explained that only 12 political parties would participate in the rescheduled election on December 5, 2020.

He said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission wishes to inform the good people of Bayelsa State, especially the electorate and stakeholders in Bayelsa West Senatorial District, that the conduct of the election into the vacant seat, which was initially scheduled on 31 October, 2020, has been rescheduled to hold on December 5, 2020, with only twelve political parties qualified to participate.

“The above reduction in parties participating is in compliance to the Federal High judgments in suits number FHC/YNG/CS 60/2020 and FHC/YNG/CS/66/2020 which restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from including the name and logo of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Peremobowei Ebebi.”

But reacting to the development, the Director General of Peremobowei Ebebi Campaign Organisation, Mr Williams Ofoni, said the decision of INEC was hasty.

He said the electoral umpire was economical with the truth and that the candidate of the APC in the poll, Peremobowei Ebebi, had already appealed the judgments of the Federal High Court.

He expressed optimism that the Appeal Court would overturn the judgments given by the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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