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Ikimi: DSIEC LGA Notice of Elections Is A Gross Violation Of The Electoral Act

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The Executive Director, Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged, CENTREP, Barrister Oghenejabor Ikimi, has said that the 2018 Notice of Local Government General Elections, guidelines and time table released by DSIEC, published on the 3rd of October, 2017 for the Local Government Elections slated for 6th January, by Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC, is a gross violation of the Electoral Act, 2010.

In a press release made available to journalists in Warri, Ikimi said: “Section 32 (1) and (3) of the DSIEC Law, 2017 which is on all fours with Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2010, provides that the date of the Local Government Elections fixed by DSIEC shall not be earlier than 150 days before and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of that office.

“By my vantage position as a legal practitioner, I am not oblivious of the fact that by paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) the National Assembly can make laws for the Federation with respect to the registration of voters and the procedure regulating elections to a Local Government Council and the Law of the House of Assembly must not be inconsistent with any Law made by the National Assembly in the above regard.”       

“Local Government elections nationwide must be carried out in full compliance with the Electoral Act, 2010 being an Act of the National Assembly in force,” he noted.

He added: “I know that the current term of office of Chairmen and Councilors in the 25 Local Government Councils in the State expired on Thursday, the 26th October, 2017 or thereabout and by the strict provisions of Section 32 (1) and (3) of the DSIEC Law, 2017 and Sections 25 and 31 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010, DSIEC ought to have conducted Local Government election at least a month to the expiration of the term of the outgone chairmen and councilors or 150 days.”

This, he said “would guarantee an uninterrupted democratic system of government in the 25 Local Government Councils of the State under Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) by releasing the notice of Local Government General elections and guidelines and time table 90 days before election in accordance with the Electoral Act, 2010.”

He continued: “The present electoral quagmire in the State is the deliberate making of the State Governor, and the Delta State House of Assembly, who repealed the DSIEC Law, 2012 barely two months to the expiration of the current term of chairmen and councilors in the 25 Local Government Councils in the State.”

He opined that “this was done to unconstitutionally foist appointed and unelected representatives on the electorates in the 25 Local Government Councils in the State and to stampede opposition political parties in the State with little or no time to prepare for the said elections in favour of the ruling party.”

Ikimi thus called on opposition political parties in the State “to approach the courts to seek judicial interpretation of the relevant provisions of the DSIEC Law, 2017 vis-à-vis the Electoral Act, 2010 in a bid to restraining DSIEC from legalizing illegality in the polity.”

By Dafe Rukevwe

 

 

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